If you are waiting to receive a settlement in a personal injury case, you may be wondering if you will go to trial. The answer depends on several factors, including whether or not the insurance company denies liability, and whether or not you are willing to accept the settlement amount offered.
At Oronoz and Ericsson Injury Lawyers Injury Lawyers, we understand how painful and stressful a personal injury accident can be. We want to make sure that you are compensated fairly. Our attorneys can quickly estimate how much your case is worth based on our extensive trial experience handling personal injury cases. Don’t let the insurance company take advantage of you. To schedule a free consultation of your case, call (702) 878-2889 today, or reach out through the online form.
Insurance Claims vs. Jury Verdicts
Many personal injury cases will be settled with the insurance company of the at-fault party. In such a case, you must prove who was responsible for your injuries as well as the extent of your damages. Damages that are easy to calculate, such as medical bills and lost wages are called special damages, and those that are more difficult to quantify, such as pain and suffering are called general damages.
There are a couple of scenarios that make your case likely to proceed to trial. The most common is if fault is in dispute. In many cases, it is clear who is at fault for an accident. If police cited the other party for careless driving or running a stop sign, it is likely that the insurance company will accept responsibility for the claim. If you were partially at fault, the insurance company might deny the claim.
Another scenario that makes your case likely to proceed to trial is if the damages in your case are extensive because you suffered severe injuries. In this type of case, insurance companies may prolong things by refusing to make a reasonable settlement offer in the hopes that you will settle for less than your case is worth.
When you accept a settlement from an insurance company, you will be asked to a release of your claim, and promise not to file a lawsuit against the insured driver in exchange for the settlement.
What if the Insurance Company Denies My Claim?
If the insurance company denies liability, your next option is to take your case to trial. Most personal injury cases are tried before a jury who will be responsible for determining who was at fault for the incident and the extent of any damages. A lawsuit is started by filing a complaint with the clerk’s office and having the defendant served with the complaint and summons.
Many cases will still settle prior to trial, even if you need to file a lawsuit. It is often less expensive for an insurance company to pay a settlement than to pay legal fees and incur the risk that a jury may enter a large verdict in your favor.
What to Expect if Your Case Goes to Trial
If your case goes to trial, your attorney will present evidence to support your claim, such as eyewitness testimony, your testimony regarding the event and your injuries, and other evidence to prove the extent of your injuries, such as medical records, bills, and testimony from medical providers. If the case is especially complicated, an expert witness such as a crash reconstruction expert may testify to explain what happened during the wreck.
A trial will start with jury selection. Each side will try to eliminate any jurors who may be biased from the jury pool and keep those who may find in their favor. Next, each side will present opening statements. After opening statements, attorneys for the plaintiff will present evidence, followed by the defense. At the close of all evidence, each side will be allowed to present closing statements to summarize what the jurors have heard. Then jurors will deliberate until they can come to a decision, and the trial judge will announce the verdict.
Will I Be Expected to Testify?
If your case proceeds to trial, you will likely need to testify about your injuries and how they affect your daily life. You may be asked about what you remember regarding the accident. The most important consideration when testifying is to be truthful. If you don’t remember a specific detail, it is perfectly fine to state that you don’t remember. It is a good idea to keep a notebook to write down symptoms you are experiencing due to injuries and include specific dates. This will help you prepare to testify at trial later.
Consult an Experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer
Hiring an attorney to handle your personal injury case can save you a lot of time and help you avoid stress so you can focus on recovering from the accident. At Oronoz and Ericsson Injury Lawyers Injury Lawyers, we have handled many types of personal injury claims and trials. We won’t hesitate to file a lawsuit against those who were responsible for the accident to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.