Factors to Consider Before Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
How does an attorney decide if it makes sense to file a lawsuit? What questions might he or she seek to answer before deciding one way or another?
These are complex questions, which is why it is important to have an experienced attorney managing your case. You need someone who has experience taking cases to court and securing favorable jury verdicts for his or her clients.
Our personal injury lawyers in Savannah are prepared to take cases to court and can explain if it may be in your best interest to do so.
Do You Have a Case?
Civil lawsuits are filed when a negligent party causes another person an injury. The purpose of the lawsuit is to recover damages caused by the injury, such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.
Your lawyer must build a strong case to convince a jury your injury was the result of another’s negligence, which is a legal theory that has four elements:
- Existence of a duty of care – Your lawyer must establish the at-fault party had a legal responsibility to act as a reasonable person to prevent harm to you.
- Breach of duty of care – Your lawyer must prove the liable party failed to uphold the duty of care, either through action or inaction.
- Causal link to your injuries – There must be a causal link between the breached duty of care and your injuries – an injury would not have occurred without the breached duty of care.
- Existence of damages – Your injuries must have resulted in damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.
How Far Apart Are the Insurer’s Settlement Offers and Your Demands?
One of the first steps in attempting to secure a settlement is having your attorney write a demand letter to the insurance company, which:
- States the facts of the case
- Provides evidence to back up those facts
- Makes a demand for compensation to cover your economic and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering
This provides the liable party an opportunity to either agree to your demands or refute your claim and make a counteroffer for a different amount.
If the two sides are close, it may not make sense to file a lawsuit. More negotiating could yield a more favorable settlement. However, if both sides have already gone back and forth numerous times and are still far apart, filing a lawsuit may be a viable option.
Is the Liable Party Refusing to Pay?
If the insurance company is refusing to pay the claim, denying liability or purposefully delaying negotiations, it may be time to file a lawsuit. Keep in mind that a claim may be settled at any point, even if a lawsuit has already been filed against the insurer.
Sometimes the filing of a lawsuit convinces the insurance company to come back to the negotiating table. The insurance company’s number one concern is its bottom line. Going to court may cost the insurer more money than settling the case.
What is the Likelihood of Securing a Favorable Jury Verdict?
Injury claims usually take months to settle for many reasons. Going to court can push back a resolution much further. You need to wait for a judge and court date to be assigned to the case. These factors should be weighed against the likelihood that the jury will rule in your favor. This is something an experienced attorney considers before advising you whether it may be a good idea to go ahead with a lawsuit.
If your case reaches this point, make sure to discuss your concerns with your lawyer. He or she should be able to explain his or her thought process in detail.
Unsure if You Have a Case? Call Roden Law Today
Roden Law has obtained millions in compensation on behalf of injury victims. We know how to determine if it makes sense to file a lawsuit and are prepared to review your legal options in a free consultation. Our attorneys have many years of combined experience negotiating with insurance companies and taking cases to court.
We do not charge you any fees while we work on your case and only get paid if we recover compensation on your behalf, so there is no risk in working with us.