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Personal Injury Settlement Versus Trial

When a person sustains an injury due to the negligent actions of another individual, business, or entity, they may be able to recover compensation for their losses. This includes compensation for medical bills, lost wage replacement, property damage expenses, and even physical and emotional pain and suffering damages. The personal injury lawyers in Coweta County highlight a few ways to recover this compensation, including obtaining a settlement from an insurance carrier or going to trial so the case can be heard by a jury.

What an Injury Claim Settlement Means

Most injury claims get resolved through a settlement with an insurance carrier, but that does not mean this is an easy process. When a person sustains an injury caused by the negligence of another individual, the first step is usually filing a claim with an insurance carrier. For example, if a person is injured due to the negligent actions of another driver, they file a claim with their auto insurance carrier, who, in turn, files a claim against the at-fault driver’s carrier.

Similarly, insurance carriers are involved in accidents that occur on another person’s property, incidents that happen on commercial properties, and injuries that happen as a result of government entities.

Insurance carriers often try to negotiate lower settlements, at least lower than what an injury victim should actually receive. We strongly encourage individuals who sustained harm due to the negligence of another to work with a skilled personal injury lawyer who can help them handle conversations with the insurance carrier. A skilled personal injury lawyer can negotiate with the insurance carrier on behalf of their client.

Claims that get settled before a trial becomes necessary typically resolve quicker than those that do go through to trial. However, there is no guarantee that a person will receive a fair settlement offer from the at-fault party or the insurance carrier. In those situations, when the insurance carrier refuses to offer a fair amount or if they deny the claim altogether, the victim may need to file a civil personal injury lawsuit.

Why Would a Trial Become Necessary?

If a lawsuit does get filed, this does not necessarily mean a person will have to go to court. This does put the case into the civil court system but starts with the discovery process. Discovery is when attorneys for both sides will exchange evidence and information with one another related to the case. Both attorneys will have a chance to take depositions of potential witnesses under oath as they move forward toward building their case.

It is not uncommon for negotiations to continue as more evidence comes to light related to the incident. If a case does reach a settlement agreement before a trial becomes necessary, then this resolves the matter. However, in the event the two parties do not agree, the personal injury case will have to move forward to a jury trial.

If the case goes to trial, a jury will be selected, and they will hear evidence presented by both sides. The jury will then make a decision about whether or not the alleged negligent party more likely than not caused the injury and whether they should pay compensation to the injury victim.