Reasons Your Case May Go to Court in Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee
While reaching a settlement agreement is the most common way people resolve personal injury cases, sometimes you need to file a lawsuit.
A lawsuit doesn’t automatically mean you will go to court and have a trial with a judge and jury. You may find the opportunity to settle your case as the lawsuit moves forward.
But if you can’t reach a settlement and go to court instead, these are some possible reasons why:
- The insurance company doesn’t offer you a reasonable amount of money, sometimes because it’s trying to discourage settlements in cases like yours.
- You and your attorney are asking for more than the insurance company or opposing party will accept.
- The insurance company or opposing party thinks you’re at fault, or that you at least share the fault for the accident and injury.
- Your case is unusually complicated, possibly because multiple people and companies are involved.
- You can’t find agreement on the value of harder-to-measure aspects of your case, such as compensation for pain and suffering.
- Your attorney believes, based on the facts of your case, that you will win if you go to trial.
- The other party believes, based on issues with your evidence, that they will win at trial.
Another reason is more technical. In Louisiana, for example, the law requires you to file a personal injury lawsuit within a year after your injury in many cases. If you’re running out of time to reach a settlement, you may file a lawsuit simply to keep your options alive.
Sometimes once you file a lawsuit, stalled negotiations for a settlement start to advance again.
The best way to decide your path forward is to have a skilled injury lawyer review your case.
You can get free, initial background information from the personal injury lawyers at Bowling Christiansen.
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What Happens When Your Personal Injury Case Is Going to Court?
If you’re headed to court, these are some of the steps to expect:
- Discovery. Once a lawsuit is filed, “discovery” is the phase during which you exchange questions and information with the other side.
- Depositions. Depositions are sworn statements that you and the opposing party provide under questioning from each other’s lawyers. It’s part of discovery.
- Jury Selection. This is how your trial opens in cases large enough to require juries (instead of just a judge, which is called a bench trial.)
- Opening Statements. Your attorney and your opponent present their own summaries of the case.
- Presenting Evidence. The attorneys show the judge and jury photos, documents and physical objects documenting the injury incident.
- Witness Testimony. Witnesses for each side speak in the courtroom and take questions from the other side.
- Jury Deliberation. The jury privately discusses what verdict to reach and what damages to award.
Deciding whether to accept a settlement or go to trial is a complicated task.
In addition to considering the nature of your case and your ideal outcome, you need to make a deeply personal decision about when you want to finish with the case and put it behind you.
The Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana personal injury lawyers at Bowling Christiansen bring extensive experience to guiding you, including knowledge of complex medical issues, catastrophic injuries and personal injury law.
Our lawyers have helped hundreds of people over four decades.
After an injury derails your life, our mission is to help you get compensation so you can reach a better situation.
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