If you have been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence, you will be facing hospital and doctor’s bills, the cost of medication, and ongoing therapy treatments. You will be hurt, unable to work and in a great deal of pain.
So what should you do? Should you sue the person who caused you to be injured?
For most minor injuries, suing is the last resort. Typically suing is only considered when negotiations fail and other methods, such as arbitration and mediation, have been exhausted.
An experienced attorney can sit down with you and go over your options. Your main 3 injury compensation options are as follows:
1. Settle Through the Claims Process
The claims process begins when you suffer an injury and/or damage to property due to another’s negligence. To recover losses, you can pursue the at-fault party who will, in most cases, have their insurance company handle the matter.
After the insurance company has been notified, it will allocate the case to an insurance adjuster. The adjuster will then get in touch with you to negotiate a settlement. If you and the insurance adjuster can reach a settlement, a lawsuit will not be necessary.
A negotiated insurance settlement is usually the best option since it avoids an expensive and time-consuming trial. Even if you are not completely happy with the amount of compensation you are offered, before you turn down any insurance settlement, you should consider the time and expense needed to sue for compensation.
An experienced personal injury attorney can assist you in negotiations and advise you whether or not the settlement offer is fair.
2. File a Lawsuit for Initial Injury Compensation
A personal injury claim and a personal injury lawsuit are two different processes. A personal injury claim involves negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company. If all goes well, this will result in an insurance settlement that you are satisfied with.
A personal injury lawsuit is typically filed with the court when it becomes clear that you and the insurance company can’t agree on a fair settlement. This can occur if the insurance company does not believe their client is liable for your injuries, or does not agree with the severity of your injuries or the amount of money you are asking for.
Filing a lawsuit doesn’t necessarily mean that you will go to court. It simply means that your attorney starts the litigation process. This is often enough to convince an insurance company to offer you a settlement that you can accept.
3. Mediation or Arbitration
During the litigation process, you may be able to resolve your case through mediation or arbitration. Mediation and arbitration are popular ways to settle disputes without going to trial. Both can be set up quickly and take less time than going to court. Furthermore, the associated costs are much lower, making them excellent alternatives to suing.
During mediation, a neutral third party called a mediator meets with the parties, analyzes the case, and attempts to bring them together to reach a resolution. In this respect, the mediator serves as both an evaluator and a facilitator.
With arbitration, both parties agree on a neutral third party (the arbiter) who hears evidence and arguments from both sides and renders a decision. Arbitration can be either binding or non-binding. If binding, the parties must abide by the arbiter’s decision, unless irregularities can be proven. If non-binding, either party may continue on with a lawsuit.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
In any case, injury compensation without suing will require you to be fully prepared to go to court. This means having all of your evidence and witnesses ready.
Being thoroughly prepared to go to court, while being flexible and willing to explore alternatives, is the best way to achieve a favorable outcome for your injury case.