Making Sense Of The Personal Injury Law System

Posted on: 20 December 2018

Understanding how to file a claim after you've been hurt is a critical part of protecting your rights as you try to get the compensation you feel you deserve. The process, however, is more complex than hiring a personal injury law firm and suing the responsible parties for everything they've got. If you're trying to make sense of the system, take these issues under consideration before you move forward with your case.

You're Probably Never Going to Court

The American legal system does entitle you to your day in court, but the reality is that the vast majority of cases, about 95%, will be settled or dismissed without ever going to jury selection. If you make it your mission to punish a responsible party who wants to settle for a reasonable number, there's a good chance that you will eventually run into a judge who will frown upon your actions and begin to nudge you toward a settlement.

The goal of the personal injury law system in America is to see that harmed parties are fairly compensated for their losses and suffering. Punitive damages and actions are reserved for egregious cases. If you believe there was also criminal wrongdoing that needs to be punished, that's considered a legally separate matter from the civil tort of personal injury.

All that said, the value of hiring a personal injury lawyer largely comes from the threat that you'll take a case to court. Jury judgments can be stiff, with record settlements now reaching into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Simply put, you want to be paid a reasonable amount in a reasonable time, and the best way to do that is often to maintain the threat of legal action.

Most Dealings Are with Insurance Companies

In the average case, most of the work is negotiations between an insurance company and a personal injury lawyer. The insurance carrier will appoint a claims adjuster to review the case, and they'll go through the details to determine two things. First, they'll establish whether there even is a valid case. If there is, then they will come up with a number that protects the company's interests while also incentivizing acceptance.

Some companies will drag their feet knowing that injured people often have medical bills accumulating and are missing work time. Your personal injury lawyer, though, will let you know when the right offer has been made.