You've been hurt in a car wreck. The insurance company fails to negotiate a fair settlement. Even mediation didn't nudge the insurance company to offer enough for your medical bills. In this situation and others that are similar, it may be in your best interest to go to court.
When Trial May be Necessary
Most car accident cases don't require that you go to court. The majority of them settle through negotiations - the back-and-forth process of your attorney's demand and the insurance company's counteroffer. This back-and-forth continues until both parties agree on a dollar amount to settle the insurance claim.
But when negotiations fail, and the parties cannot come to a settlement agreement, the next option is to file a civil lawsuit in court.
You may need to file a lawsuit if your insurance company continues to:
- Question liability (they insist their client wasn't at fault and deny your claim)
- Undervalue your case or give you a low offer
What Happens After Filing a Lawsuit?
No one wants to file a lawsuit and then have to appear in court. It's time-consuming and bureaucratic. If you do find it necessary to file a lawsuit, here is what you can expect.
Step 1 - Discovery. The first step would be the discovery phase in which you exchange written questions called interrogatories.
Step 2 - Depositions. After interrogatories, each side takes depositions. Depositions are done in an office setting outside the courtroom. A deposition is a process whereby you are questioned about the specifics of the incident, and the questions and your answers are recorded and transcribed.
Step 3 - Mediation. If both parties still have not reached an agreement, mediation is the next step. Mediation is a negotiation process, also done in an office, whereby your attorney and the insurance company's attorney will try to come to a settlement you are satisfied with. You will be present to agree or disagree with the terms, and a mediator will be present to guide the process.
Step 4 - Final prep for trial. If mediation is not satisfactory and court is your last option, then your lawyers will begin final prep for trial. This often includes special depositions of treating doctors, which are videotaped and shown at the trial.
Sometimes, during each of these processes, both sides reach a settlement agreement. If that is the case, then you don't have to go to court. If not, and the case goes to trial, then you will have to appear because you are the primary witness for your case.
Attorneys and Staff with Extensive Experience
Our attorneys have argued many cases in courtrooms all across North Carolina. While the majority of personal injury or car accident cases can settle without going to court, it can be important to have an experienced legal team on your side before you ever speak to the insurance company. This can help protect your case from potential pitfalls in the event that a trial is needed.
Experience in the courtroom and beyond has taught me that the insurance company is working to protect their assets - not yours. At the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, we always evaluate each case individually and advise litigation only if we believe it can potentially result in the greatest financial return for our clients. If your case does go to trial, we have an entire department dedicated to litigation.
Several of our firm's more than 35 attorneys have won awards and authored or co-authored publications. Some are involved in teaching law-related courses from time to time - one is an adjunct professor at a university.
Moreover, several of our staff members have worked for insurance companies - giving us additional knowledge about how the "other side" operates.
Take advantage of our knowledge and experience. If you've been injured, contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078. Click here to have one of our attorneys review your case for free. You won't pay an attorney's fee unless we recover compensation for your claim.