If you or someone in your family was injured in an auto accident, you may be wondering whether you’ll have to file a lawsuit and go to court to actually get the compensation you truly deserve. You may have read online a statistic that states that 90% of injury cases are satisfactorily settled outside of court… while that’s technically true the statistic is misleading.
90% are eventually are settled before verdict, but not without lots of work & effort, and many cases will actually require you to file a lawsuit and go through the litigation process to get top dollar compensation, but the case will settle before it’s actually heard in a courtroom.
You Don’t Want a Lawyer Who Just Knows How to Settle
It’s important to understand if you want max compensation you don’t want to retain the services of a Philadelphia car accident lawyer who just knows how to settle. You want someone who knows how to fight for the maximum and it willing to go to court to get it, but at the same time considers what is in the best interest of the client.
Settling With The Insurance Company
Negotiating and settling outside of court is often a preferable option in an injury case. In most cases, it is much less costly, less time-consuming, and less stressful than pursuing a lawsuit in court.
Keep in mind, however, that insurance companies are businesses and that they have methods to undermine the amount they have to pay you. You may notice, for instance, that the insurance adjustor keeps calling you to try to settle your claim as soon as possible. It is best for you not to accept the early offer; instead consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine how to obtain the maximum compensation you deserve.
Mediation and Arbitration
In some cases, insurance negotiations may not go smoothly or may seem like they are going nowhere. Before proceeding to court, you still have the option of using an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method such as mediation or arbitration. In such a method, you and the other party agree to have an independent third party facilitate your negotiation. Sometimes, ADR is also ordered by the court before a case goes to trial.
When You May Want To Consider a Lawsuit
There are times when filing a lawsuit is the best action. You might consider filing suit when:
- Settlement is not possible, such as when the insurance company has not responded to your demand letter,
- The insurance company is negotiating in bad faith – that is, using unlawful or deceitful practices over the course of the negotiation, or
- Your injury is serious or involves substantial losses such as large medical expenses and significant pain and suffering.
“Full Tort” or “Limited Tort” Insurance Coverage
Note that your ability to sue someone depends largely on whether you have a “full tort” or “limited tort” insurance coverage. “Full tort” allows you to seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages, as well as to sue the at-fault party regardless of the severity of your injuries. In contrast, “limited tort” prevents you from suing anyone unless your injury counts as serious. Examples of “serious injuries” in Pennsylvania court decisions are serious impairment of a bodily function and permanent serious disfigurement.
Statute of Limitations
Another important thing to remember when considering a lawsuit is the Pennsylvania statute of limitations. This is the time period within which you must file your suit. For a personal injury case in Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations is two years from the accident date; for a Pennsylvania wrongful death case, it is two years from the date of death.
Every accident case is unique, so you should thoroughly consider the specific circumstances of your case when deciding your legal course of action. The Brod Law Firm is ready to help you determine your best options and answer your questions.
Your consultation is free. Call 1-888-HELPWIN (1-888-435-7946) today.