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December 22, 2014

Will my Personal Injury case go to Trial?

court gavelMany injured victims are hesitant about pursuing a personal injury claim against the responsible party because they have seen the dramatic trial scenes on television and in movies. However, in real life, trials are not nearly as dramatic as they are portrayed for entertainment. Furthermore, the large majority of personal injury cases will not see the inside of a courtroom, needless to say make it to trial. This is because there are many steps your experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer can take prior to trial to secure you the settlement you deserve without the need for stressful litigation.

Demand letter

In certain cases, all it takes to settle a case is a demand letter from your attorney to the defendant and the defendant’s insurance company if applicable.[1] The letter will simply state that you have suffered injuries and believe that you are entitled to a certain amount of compensation because your injuries occurred due to the defendant’s negligence. Though this demand letter does not always work to resolve a case, some defendants or their claims adjustors may agree to pay the sum. This is the first step in settlement negotiations with the other side and there are specific ethical rules that govern this process for your attorney.[2]

Further negotiations

If the first settlement offer in the demand letter is rejected, it is usually countered with a lower offer by the insurance company or the defendant. Settlement negotiations are a process and the offers may go back and forth several times before a reasonable agreement is reached. Throughout the process, your attorney will work to gather evidence of the driver’s negligence and can use that evidence to demonstrate the strength of your case in order to encourage the other side to settle.

Depending on your circumstances, your lawyer may also recommend that you attend mediation proceedings, which can influence cooperation between parties to reach an agreement for less time and cost than a trial.[3]

Trial is sometimes necessary

If no settlement agreement can be reached, your case may proceed to trial. A skilled personal injury lawyer will know how to make the trial process as efficient and stress-free as possible for you and will be a zealous advocate striving to get you the compensation your deserve.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demand_letter

[2] http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/2011_build/dispute_resolution/settlementnegotiations.authcheckdam.pdf

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mediation

 

 

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