It’s exceptionally important for us all to understand the actual reality behind personal injury claims. The legal process can be nigh impenetrable; it’s almost impossible to get a firm grasp of it until you’re already committed to pursuing your case. A lot of experts blame Hollywood and modern-day American day-time drama for several popular misconceptions about civil law. In many shows boasting a wide public audience, civil law cases get settled quickly and with little fuss. However, the statistics surrounding personal injury law, along with the actual realities behind a legal case, prove that things may not be as simple as television leads us to believe.
The Law Dictionary has recently published a miniature expose of the personal injury case process. According to their sources, a vast majority of civil law cases are settled outside of a trial. Why is this significant? It means that the lawyers and the parties on both sides of the case come to an agreement about a settlement without ever involving a trial judge or a jury. There’s no courtroom, no litigation, and no formal trial proceedings. 95 percent of cases actually wind up being settled before they can come to trial. While settlement might seem like a quick solution to a problem, it can actually take an astonishing amount of time. In fact, where we might expect a swift conversation followed by a handshake deal from two attorneys, settlement negotiations can drag on for years. And there are actually compelling reasons for personal injury cases to take so long.
For one, law firms have to conduct a thorough investigation into the victim’s injury and the accident that caused the injury. Such civil cases are grounded in the notion that the victim was hurt by another party’s malicious actions or negligence and, therefore, that the victim deserves financial compensation from the responsible party. It’s up to the victim’s lawyer to piece together a compelling argument that they are due that monetary recompense. That often means working with private, contracted investigators to figure out exactly what happened, and that can take time. Additionally, it’s up to the lawyer to calculate the precise costs of the victim’s injuries. They have to look at medical reports, and some injuries might not even show up until quite some time after the accident. Thorough medical review can tack on months to the personal injury case timeline.
In putting together a case, lawyers also have to gather what’s called “discovery.” This involves gathering up and questioning relevant witnesses to the injury or accident. Lawyers might try to get testimony from a great variety of expert witnesses to talk about the nature of the accident, the extent of the injury, and other topics. Maybe they have to track down a handful of eyewitnesses to lend credibility to the case. Negotiations can also go back and forth and the parties struggle to get the upper hand.
All in all, it’s important for the victims of preventable accidents to seek legal counsel from a strong, reliable attorney.Read More