What Is Litigation and What Does It Mean for Me as an Injured Plaintiff?
We often encounter clients that are unclear about or even intimidated by the idea of having to filing a personal injury lawsuit against the person who injured them. People’s concerns range from not wanting to be perceived as the type of person who files lots of lawsuits, to being concerned about how they will be treated by the insurance company attorneys after the case is filed. While every case is different, filing a lawsuit and starting the litigation process is a powerful tool for an injured person to push the insurance company to properly compensate you for the full extent of your injuries.
An injured person can file a lawsuit any time between the injury and the statute of limitations for their claim. In certain cases, where a Defendant may be hard to locate, or there are multiple injured parties and not enough insurance coverage it makes sense to file a lawsuit immediately. However, most of the time it makes more sense to try and resolve the claim without a lawsuit first. Many cases are able to resolve without litigation, however, there are certain insurance companies that frequently refuse to make reasonable offers to injured people unless a lawsuit is filed. If your claim is against one of those companies, or there is additional information we can obtain in litigation that will help your claim, or the offer from the insurance company is just not a realistic valuation of the injury you have suffered, a lawsuit is sometimes necessary to change the insurance company’s approach to your case.
If it is necessary to file a lawsuit on your case, about 70 days after the lawsuit is filed each party must make available to the other side any witnesses they know of to the injury and any documents and other information they have about the claims and defenses in the lawsuit. This lets each side see what the other side is looking at in the case and helps an injured person to assess what impact, if any, that information has on their case. Additionally, we are able to send additional questions that the other side has to answer under oath, request additional documents they would not have been previously required to disclose and even get them to admit to certain facts in a binding fashion. Litigation also allows us to take the deposition of the person, or people, who caused the injury, and get their testimony about how the injury occurred under oath. The deposition also allows us to see what kind of witness the Defendant will make and assess whether we think a jury will find them to be a credible witness.
While we get to obtain additional information from and assess the Defendant, the insurance company’s attorneys get to do the same with the Plaintiff. As part of filing a lawsuit an injured person has to answer questions under oath and is almost always deposed. However, we work with our clients through each step of the litigation, helping them to answer the written questions and preparing them for the type of questions they will be asked in their deposition and assisting them in avoiding common traps the insurance company attorneys employ to try to trip up injured Plaintiffs.
The final destination of any litigation is trial. Trial is the injured person’s chance to present their case to a jury of their peers and let the jury determine the value of the injuries they have suffered and the effect it has had on their life. While cases often resolve before trial, it is important to have attorneys that know how trial works and have experience dealing with the insurance company’s tactics. The insurance companies know which attorneys have litigated cases and have the ability and determination to take a case to a jury and cut through all of the insurance company tactics to get a final resolution of an injured person’s claim.
The attorneys at Pushchak Law Firm have litigated hundreds of cases through their careers, helping our clients receive millions of dollars in compensation for their injuries through trial and resolutions short of trial. If you, or someone you know, has been injured it is important to choose attorneys that will help you make informed decisions about how to proceed with your case, but also that have the experience in litigation to take the insurance companies all the way to obtaining a verdict from a jury. If you have questions about an injury and how Pushchak Law Firm can help you to make sure you obtain the compensation the insurance companies don’t want to pay, call us to discuss your case.
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