Your Personal Injury Case: Should You Settle or Go to Trial?
By: Jessica Prochaska- Burg Simpson Shareholder and Personal Injury Trial Lawyer
Being involved in a car accident, even one that is relatively minor can be one of life’s most unsettling experiences. But what can be equally disconcerting are the subsequent legal issues that arise as a result of the accident.
Most people are unfamiliar with our court system, and having to deal with a legal matter can be daunting. Fortunately, however, many people who have been involved in an automobile accident can resolve their legal issues with the assistance of their personal injury attorney. Together, with the insurance companies, they can save time and money by agreeing upon a settlement without the need for a trial also known as litigation.
But when you are unable to reach a fair agreement, and accepting the opposing party’s settlement offer is not in your best interests, your attorney can take your case to trial to fight for compensation.
The Settlement Process
Following an accident, your personal injury attorney at Burg Simpson will begin the legal process by sending a letter of representation to the insurance company representing the opposing party. This is followed by a demand letter. The letter will outline your case and include details about the accident, a description of your injuries, the amount of your medical expenses and lost wages, how the accident has impacted your life, and why you and your attorney believe the accident was the result of the insured’s negligent actions. The demand letter will also request a settlement amount.
The opposing party will usually respond with a counteroffer and negotiations will begin. If you choose to accept a settlement offer, then the dispute will be resolved. If you cannot agree, then you and your attorney may file a lawsuit against the negligent party to seek adequate compensation for your losses in a court of law.
The Litigation Process
The legal process in a personal injury case begins when the plaintiff and their personal injury lawyer file a formal complaint against the opposing party. The defendant will then be served with a copy of the complaint. After the defendant is served, the defendant’s attorney will file an answer.
The next step is the discovery process. During this phase, both sides will collect data that is relevant to your case. Discovery consists of:
- Requests for Production
- Requests for Admission
Your attorney will thoroughly prepare you for each phase of the discovery process and help you understand what is expected of you.
Discovery requires the client’s participation and the process can take between one to several months to complete.
An interrogatory is a written request for information that one party to a lawsuit submits to the opposing party. Interrogatories request information about the cause of the injury, the potential witnesses to the incident, and the medical treatment and financial losses that were a result of the injury.
- Request for Production of Documents
A request for the production of documents is a written request asking the opposing party to supply copies of relevant documents. Requested documents may include copies of medical records, insurance policies, photographs taken at the scene of the accident, and records pertaining to the repairs of damaged property.
- Request for Admission
A Request for Admission will ask the opposing party to either admit or deny the facts and allegations in the case. The written statement is legally binding, and the opposing party must answer them truthfully and respond to requests for admission within a specified period of time.
A deposition is a witnesses’ out-of-court testimony in which the attorneys gather information about the case. The witness is under oath when giving a deposition and their testimony is legally binding. A deposition generally takes several hours or a full day to complete.
Burg Simpson is Always Prepared for Trial
To win your case, your lawyer at Burg Simpson will prepare by conducting a thorough investigation and compiling evidence to support your claim. While it is our intention to reach an agreement with the other party, the benefit of using a trial firm to handle your personal injury matter is that if we are not able to negotiate the best possible settlement, we are prepared to take your case to trial and fight for the best possible verdict.
Burg Simpson’s Win-Win Strategy
When Burg Simpson handles your personal injury case, we begin by preparing for trial but will seek to negotiate you the settlement you deserve. As your legal advocates, we know how to build your case so the insurance adjusters will choose to settle out of court rather than face a Burg Simpson trial lawyer in the courtroom. We have more than 40 years of experience helping people obtain the compensation they deserve.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
Call Burg Simpson now at 303-792-5595 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your personal injury matter. We are here to help you.
Shareholder Jessica B. Prochaska currently focuses her practice on personal injury claims but also has experience in pharmaceutical mass torts and complex commercial litigation. Ms. Prochaska is a highly-skilled and experienced attorney who is committed to protecting the best interests of those who have been harmed by the negligence of another party. As a dedicated champion for her clients, Jessica fights to hold negligent parties accountable for their actions, maximize financial recoveries, and provide her clients with the best possible outcome to their legal matter. Jessica’s effective strategy for legal advocacy includes her formidable skills as a negotiator and a litigator and her commitment to providing her clients with the compassionate and personalized service they deserve.
Originally from Washington, D.C., Jessica Prochaska received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and her J.D. from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Ms. Prochaska has been consistently recognized for her skill and ability by the National Trial Lawyers Association – Top 40 Under 40, from 2015 through 2019.