The process of making a personal injury claim can be adversarial. And sometimes, you might be reluctant to pursue compensation, especially if you’re worried about battling things out in court. But if you find yourself in such a situation, professionals like Grossman Attorneys at Law can be on hand to fight for you.
Usually, most claims end in amicable settlements. But, a small fraction of claims, typically complex ones, end up before a jury. Similarly, your claim may go to court if contentious liability issues remain unresolved.
So, what can you expect if push comes to shove and your compensation claim ends up in court? Here’s a breakdown of common issues surrounding such a move.
1. Uncertainty and Cost
You may consider a personal injury claim if you’ve been injured and someone else is at fault. And while many claims are settled out of court, your case may end up before a judge and jury.
If that happens, be prepared for a long and uncertain road ahead. The legal process can be complex and time-consuming, and you may have to wait months or even years for a resolution.
Plus, court cases can be expensive, so it’s advisable to understand the cost implications before deciding to take that route. But whether your case ends up in court or not, remember that you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries.
2. Winner Takes All
If your claim goes to court, the stakes are high. Usually, it’s a winner takes all situation, which means if the jury rules in your favor, you could be awarded a significant compensation. A jury will decide on the award you receive, if any, and that figure will be binding.
But if the verdict goes against you, you could end up with nothing. So, it’s crucial to have strong evidence to support your case before you decide to take matters to court. Your attorney will help you weigh the risks and benefits of going to trial and will fight tirelessly to get you a favorable outcome. Also, the loser bears the cost of the trial, including court and legal costs.
3. The Process
If you end up in court, the first step is to file a complaint with the appropriate court. This document states your legal claim and will list the facts supporting your case.
The defendant will then have the opportunity to respond to your complaint. After that, there will be a period of discovery during which both sides will gather evidence. This may involve taking depositions, requesting documents, and conducting interrogatories.
Once discovery is complete, both sides present their cases at a trial. During the trial, each side gets the opportunity to:
- Make an opening statement
- Present evidence
- Cross-examine witnesses
- Make a closing argument.
After both sides present their cases, the jury deliberates and reaches a verdict. If they find that the defendant is at fault, you will be awarded compensation for injuries or losses.
In Florida, you can expect compensation within two weeks of the settlement. All the same, and depending on the circumstances of your case, payment may delay. But generally, the court assumes that once it decides and the judge orders the defendant to compensate you, the latter can avail of the payment within three weeks. If that doesn’t materialize, your personal injury attorney can file a notice of lien with the court and help you look for other ways to get paid.
5. Recourse If You Lose
You may still have options if the court’s decision isn’t in your favor. For starters, you can file an appeal. That said, appeals are often unsuccessful, and you might end up wasting valuable time pursuing an elusive judgment.
Appeals are also expensive, so you’ll need to weigh the risks and benefits before deciding to proceed. However, an appeal may be worth considering if you believe you have a strong case.
Making the Decision
If someone else is at fault for your injury, you may wonder whether to pursue a personal injury claim. And while it’s true that many claims are resolved without the court’s involvement, sometimes, it’s the only way to get the compensation you deserve.
All in all, pursuing a personal injury claim is a brave decision, and whatever the outcome, you deserve to be treated with respect and compassion. If you’ve been injured in an accident and your claim hasn’t borne much fruit, reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you file a claim in court.