In many third-party personal injury accident cases, it is necessary to file a lawsuit in order to get the ball rolling and collect on a claim. However, merely filing a lawsuit in the Charleston court system does not necessarily mean your case will— or should—go to trial. In fact, most personal injury cases settle long before trial. In addition to settlement, other types of alternative dispute resolution measures (including mediation or arbitration) are favorable ways of resolving personal injury claims as opposed to going to trial.
A dedicated injury attorney from Howell and Christmas could help you collect on your third-party accident claim with a settlement, jury award, or alternative dispute resolution. Read on to learn more about how claims are collected in Charleston third-party liability cases, as well as the ways a professional lawyer could assist you today.
Collecting Through a Personal Injury Settlement
Most personal injury cases settle long before trial. Settlement negotiations usually occur between the plaintiff’s attorney and the insurance company adjuster of the party at fault. The process usually begins when the plaintiff’s lawyer makes an initial demand for settlement and the insurance adjuster comes back with an offer.
Negotiations usually continue until the parties reach a settlement agreement or an impasse. If the individual decides to settle the case, they will likely have to sign a release of all claims, prohibiting a future claim or lawsuit arising out of the same accident or circumstances. This is how claims are collected in Charleston third-party liability cases involving a settlement.
Litigating a Third-Party Case
This now begs the question of how claims are collected in Charleston third-party liability cases where the insurance company and the plaintiff cannot agree on an acceptable settlement offer. In these situations, the third-party personal injury case will go through the court system. Once someone files a lawsuit and both written and oral discovery take place, the parties may attend a settlement conference or a mediation or arbitration proceeding.
During mediation, a neutral third-party mediator—usually a lawyer or retired judge—will work with all parties to try to resolve the claim amicably. Instead of or in addition to mediation, the parties may agree to binding or non-binding arbitration, during which the parties set monetary parameters and informally try their case in front of the arbitrator. The arbitrator then makes a decision in regard to compensation for one’s damages.
Understanding How Claims are Collected in Charleston
If the parties cannot agree to settle the case—and if other alternative dispute resolution methods failed or are unavailable—the last recourse is usually a jury trial. Personal injury jury trials can be long, stressful, and expensive. In most cases, trials should only be an absolute last resort. During a trial, the jurors must unanimously decide the outcome of the case, including what damages the plaintiff may recover. Going to trial can be extremely risky because it is impossible to know for sure how a jury will decide a case and how much money jurors will award—if any at all.
Know that a weathered injury attorney from Howell and Christmas could help you understand how claims are collected in Charleston third-party liability cases. A compassionate lawyer could help you decide whether you should settle your case, pursue alternative dispute resolution, or risk going to trial. These options can potentially lead to monetary recovery for your personal injuries and damages. Reach out to a skilled attorney from Howell and Christmas today for your initial consultation.