If the defendant in your personal injury case has insurance, prior to any offer of settlement, an insurance adjuster will want to evaluate all documentation regarding the accident and the expenses incurred. Those records could include things like medical records, records of lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, and other types of medical documentation regarding any permanent injuries that were caused by the accident.
The insurance company may make an initial offer to settle after receiving all required documentation. If after negotiations, the insurance company offers a fair settlement that you agree to, then the case is over. You sign a Release and receive a check from the insurance company. This process generally takes 6 – 8 months from the date of the accident, but can vary depending on the length of medical treatment you receive.
However, if the settlement offer is inadequate and the insurance company won’t budge, you may choose to pursue the case further, such as by filing a lawsuit. Once a lawsuit is filed, it could take a significantly larger amount of time. Due to the busy schedule of most courts, trials usually occur between 1 and 2 years after the lawsuit is filed.
Once the suit is filed, both parties will investigate the claims in a process called discovery. Discovery could include taking depositions from the parties involved, or seeking additional documentation on the accident. After discovery is completed, both sides may begin settlement negotiations or enter into mediation prior to trial. Most personal injury cases settle prior to trial.
Have you been involved in an accident caused by another party’s negligence in the Dallas area? If so, you could have a potential case. To learn more, contact Kris Barber, Dallas personal injury attorney at the Barber Law Firm. He has experience both with case settlement and with trials. Call him today at 817-527-8833.