What Will Happen if My Personal Injury Claim Goes to Court?
Most lawsuits (about 95%) are settled out of court. This is accomplished by the negotiation of a pre-trial settlement agreement between a plaintiff's lawyer and an insurance company. But what if your case is one of the small percentage in which you, as the plaintiff (the injured party), are denied fair compensation?
If the insurance company of the person or entity responsible for your injury refuses to agree to a sufficient settlement arrangement, you can file a personal injury case in civil court to seek payment for damages - as long as you are still within the statute of limitations. This designated time limit for filing a civil court case differs in various states, and for various types of cases. In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is one year following the injury-causing incident.
However you were injured as a result of the negligence of someone else, whether by:
Let us calm your fears about filing a court case with the following overview of the process.
Why Cases Go to Trial
A trial is usually the last resort of a claims process. Insurance companies don't like court cases any more than the individuals filing them. But if they believe the risk of potentially paying more due to a trial verdict is worth the denial to pay the amount you and your lawyer are asking, you'll have no choice but to file a case, to obtain the amount in damages of which you are deserving.
A skilled and experienced personal injury attorney can fairly assess your case. If the party you believe caused your injury was clearly negligent, an attorney will likely agree to represent you and strive to negotiate a successful settlement. But if the negotiations fail to result in a fair agreement, they will be prepared to take your case to trial - and support and guide you through the entire process.
What is a Personal Injury Trial Like?
It's probably nothing like you may anticipate, if your only courtroom experience is watching crime drama-themed television shows. There are some similarities, but there are definite differences.
A judge will be present to oversee the proceedings, but civil trial verdicts are normally determined by a jury made up of individuals accepted by your lawyer and the attorney representing the insurance company of the negligent party.
The lawyer representing each side will make an opening statement.
Both sides will submit evidence to support their position, including:
Both sides will make a closing statement.
The jury will convene privately to make a judgment, following the closing statements.
In a personal injury civil trial, if the jury agrees negligence was a factor in causing your injuries, they must then make two determinations.
They must agree on the monetary value of your case. Then they must decide how much negligence can be applied to either side.
If the jury votes that you are less than 100% at fault for your injuries, they will then determine how much compensation you should you receive.
The amount will be reduced by any percentage of negligence they believe you exhibited, which contributed to the injury-causing incident. For example, if you were awarded $100,000 in damages, yet determined to be 30% responsible, you would only receive $70,000. in compensation.
If you were injured in a vehicle crash or in another manner involving negligence on the part of another, personal injury lawyers like "The Car Wreck Pro Attorneys", at Fox and Farmer, will utilize their extensive skill and experience to present your case.
A responsible attorney will do so in a manner that minimizes any perceived negligence on your part, to obtain the highest possible damage award. At Fox and Farmer, we'll do the work, and support you in every manner, so you don't have to worry if your claim goes to court.
Will I Have to Make a Statement?
This is the big question. The reason many people accept less than they deserve in a settlement. Some worry they may inadvertently make an inaccurate statement that could hurt their case. But personal injury trials are straightforward and, for the most part, predictable. All you have to do if called as a witness in your own case, is to respond honestly to the questions presented.
The insurance company's lawyers do have the option of calling you as a witness. But our legal team can anticipate the issues that may be addressed. They will prepare you to respond truthfully, and appropriately, to the probable questions.
We can then cross-examine you, if needed, to help clarify your statements if we feel the jury may misinterpret the words you chose in your response. So there's no need to fear the potential need to make a statement.
At Fox and Farmer, we are well-known as skilled Knoxville - Tri-cities - Chattanooga - East Tennessee car, truck, and motorcycle accident attorneys. Our personal injury lawyers also specialize in workplace injury cases. Explore our website to become familiar with all of the services we offer. We are a family law firm and will treat you like family.
Contact us for a free consultation. We're here to help when times are tough. If we believe a personal injury lawsuit is in your best interest, we'll do our best to negotiate a fair settlement, out of court. But even if a fair agreement can't be reached, we're prepared to support you throughout the process if obtaining the amount in damages you deserve requires a court appearance.
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Fox & Farmer Attorneys At Law. Knoxville Personal Injury Attorneys Serving East Tennessee Including Knoxville, Chattanooga, and the Tri-Cities.