In this article, Georgia personal injury attorneys at Scholle Law discuss Georgia car accident cases. Specifically, the firm’s attorneys discuss the commonly asked question concerning the likelihood of cases resulting in trials. To communicate an explanation on this issue, the complete personal injury timeline and process is discussed.
Georgia car accident cases are complex. If you or anyone that you know has a question about this topic, please contact our office for a free consultation.
Georgia Car Accident Cases: The Process
Most new clients always ask our attorneys about the likelihood that their case will result in a lawsuit or trial. They also want to know about the percentage of cases that result in lawsuits and trials. The simple answer is most cases do not result in a lawsuit or a trial. This topic begins with reminding readers that every case is different. No lawyer can predict a case’s outcome or guarantee a result. However, we can honestly say that the overwhelming majority of car accident cases do not result in a lawsuit or a trial.
Most Car Accident Cases Do Not Result in Lawsuits: Why Not?
An explanation of the personal injury process helps explain the potential for litigation. Each part of the process includes issues that affect a case’s potential outcome. The complexity of these cases is not able to predicted and every case is different. To give insight into a potential case, our attorneys are able to provide some input to a prospective client initially. Again, this does not include a prediction of a case’s outcome regarding compensation and how or when the case will be resolved.
Car Accidents Begin With Negligence
Prior to being contacted by a prospective car accident client, an accident occurs. Car accident cases and the injury clients seeking representation are almost always involved in accident cases caused by negligence. Very rarely do car accident cases involving intent occur. They do happen, but most cases are true accidents. Negligence can include rear-ending a vehicle or causing an accident by running a stop sign. Plenty of other examples exist. Any accident caused by driver error is generally associated with negligence.
Negligence Resulting In Injuries
Car, motorcycle and truck accidents often involve injuries. These injuries range from minor cuts and abrasions to serious injury cases involving hospitalization, surgeries and even the loss of life. When someone is injured by someone else’s negligence, the basis of a personal injury claim is born. It is once someone realizes they are hurt and in need of assistance that our office receives a call or other contact from a prospective injury client or their family.
Injury Attorneys Answer Questions
Once Scholle Law receives contact from a prospective client, our attorneys will schedule a time to meet and speak to the prospective client(s). During a free consultation our attorneys will gather the facts and the information necessary to determine how they can help. This may include a discussion of the accident report, injuries, medical treatment and insurance coverage. The attorneys will explain the same information discussed here and representation.
Our office works on a contingency. That means that there are no out of pocket costs or fees required to retain our representation. Our attorneys will explain that our office will only be paid if we are able to successfully resolve the case. The terms of the agreement are discussed and the potential client(s) can and are encouraged to answer questions about the representation agreement. If the client(s) wish to proceed, they are presented with the contract. Once the client(s) sign the agreement, our law firm can begin working.
Notice of Representation
Once retained, lawyers contact the multiple parties involved with their Georgia car accident cases. Then lawyers send letters to applicable insurance companies and medical providers. Part of the value of an experienced Georgia car accident law firm is the client’s ability to no longer have to communicate with the insurance company concerning their injuries. Hiring a lawyer gives the attorney and their professional staff the authority to speak to the insurance company about the case.
We believe that clients should focus on getting well and not having to focus on their bodily injury claim.
Depending on the case, further investigation may be required. For instance, we may need to speak to witnesses or gather other information and evidence. If we have not yet received a copy of the accident report or other important information, we will be working diligently to get the information that we need to work on the case. Many cases do not require significant investigations. In some situations, an investigation may be significant. Tractor trailer or commercial vehicle accidents are such an example. In tractor trailer accidents we may need to speak to accident reconstruction experts or other experts to gather evidence to support our client’s case. Our firm has the knowledge and resources to complete thorough investigations.
The most important thing that we want a client to do after hiring our firm is to focus on healing and getting well. It is of the utmost importance that clients focus on getting well and doing everything they can to follow their doctor’s orders. Every injury is different and no one ever predicts when their medical treatment will conclude. This is why our firm works hard to stay in contact with all of our clients so we can have an accurate idea of how they are progressing with their medical care.
Our firm will have a list of all of the client’s medical providers so we can get their medical records and bills. We also want to make sure that our clients are getting well. We cannot work to resolve a client’s case prior to the completion of their medical care. Additionally, if a client is not progressing with their healing, we want to encourage them to speak to their doctors about any issues preventing their recoveries. Sometimes this can include a 2nd opinion and in some other cases, a client may need a surgery.
The bottom line is we want our clients to get well and feel their best. We will always stay in regular contact with our clients. We do this so we can be of assistance and also to move forward with resolving their case at the appropriate time.
Pre-litigation refers to a case that has not been filed as a lawsuit. Since most Georgia car accident cases are resolved without having to go to court or trial, pre-litigation applies to the majority of cases that personal injury lawyers work on. During pre-litigation there will be a lot of time spent on gathering our client’s medical records and medical bills. From time to time we hear about law firms that require their clients to compile and retrieve their own medical records and medical bills. We do not do this!
Lawyers complete their analysis by reviewing the complete medical records and medical bills. One of the greatest challenges a lawyer may face with any case is the difficulty of accurately evidencing their client’s injuries and damages. Depending on the types of injuries and the significance of the medical care, assessing and documenting a client’s injuries for presentation to an insurance company can be the most complex part of any injury case. Here an injury attorney evaluates the case value. Clients always want to know how much their case is worth. At this point their lawyer has an idea of that figure.
Once a file has been completely documented and assessed, an attorney can present this information to an insurance company. This is often referred to as a demand or settlement demand. The information sent to the insurance company for their consideration and evaluation is composed of medical records, bills and other documents and information an attorney can use to validate and prove their client’s case. Just like no two cases are the same, no two settlement demands are the same.
Generally the settlement demand is what triggers the negotiation process between an insurance company and the attorney representing a personal injury client. Like most aspects of any case, this is generally a process that takes some time to conclude. Simply sending a settlement demand one day is generally not going to result in a response or counter offer the next day. The insurance companies will take some time before they are able to respond.
Before they respond they will evaluate all of the information presented to them. Depending on the case, this can take a significant amount of time. For instance, a case with many medical providers, surgeries, hospitalizations may take a lot longer to review than a case where the client’s treatment consisted of orthopedic care and physical therapy.
There is no set amount of time for an insurance company to respond with a counter offer. Your attorneys want to resolve your case! You can rest assured that an unreasonable response time will result in a follow up call to the insurance company from your attorney. Once a counter offer is received, the attorney and the insurance company can engage in their negotiations.
There are many factors that will influence the negotiation strategy and the amount of time this phase will take. It is important to know that a lawyer cannot settle a case without their client’s approval. An attorney can advise a client on whether or not a settlement offer is reasonable. Ultimately it is the client’s decision. Accepting the offer is an example of a case resolution. If not accepted the case may proceed to litigation.
Filing and serving a lawsuit commences litigation. The filed lawsuit results in both sides asking the other for information through the discovery process. Discovery may include interrogatories (having to answer written questions via written response) or even depositions. Depositions are an opportunity for an insurance company lawyer to ask you about the accident. Your attorney will also get the chance to ask their insured about the accident.
Litigation could also include an opportunity for the parties to meet at a mediation. Here they try to resolve their case prior to going in front of a judge or a jury. Some courts may require mediation. If so, it is an option to resolve the case by speaking to each other about the case through a non-partial 3rd party known as a mediator. Again, many case may resolve here or even before a mediation. Additional opportunities for settlement present themselves as a case moves through litigation.
It is important to note that it may take a year or two or longer to finally get a case in front of a judge and jury. This will depend on where the Georgia Court case is located and how fast the court is able to dispose of cases. The other thing to know about litigation is that this part of a case does involve the client more than the pre-litigation phase. This phase presents more times where it will be necessary to meet with your lawyer to answer discovery questions or to prepare for depositions or trial.
If the case does not settle before getting to a trial, then it is in a class with the very few cases that make it this far. At this point a trial can commence and both sides can argue their cases and present their evidence. Some trials can last a day or two and some others can last weeks. It will all depend on the individual aspects of your case and how complex it is.
Most car accident cases do not result in trials. However, there are many aspects of an injury case that can affect whether or not the case goes that far. The injuries, the medical treatment, the issues of liability and the evidence all matter greatly. They make up a case’s potential value. The interpretation of this information varies and plaintiff’s lawyers and insurance companies do not always agree. Some will say that the cost of litigation is the most common reason that cases don’t go to court. While that and the resource of time are factors, there is more to it than that.
Injury clients can take comfort in the fact that their lawyers want the best results for them. A lawyer does not make the decision to go to court, the decision to litigate is something that a client has to consider when presented all of their options. Those options will remain unknown until a client has had an opportunity to complete their medical treatment. Without that information, any guesses about a case’s likelihood for litigation are just that: guesses.
Call Our Experienced Team of Georgia Car Accident Attorneys!
If you are looking for information regarding Georgia car accident cases, contact us. Our office handles motor vehicle accidents every day, we are here to help. Scholle Law is an accident and injury law firm that focuses on representing people in serious motor vehicle accidents. We help people hurt in car, truck, motorcycle, and work-related accidents. We do so every day. You can call us if you have questions about an accident, injury or filing an insurance claim.
At Scholle Law, we offer free consultations for anyone looking for help with their accident and injury case. Calling our office results in an opportunity to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced injury attorneys. During the case evaluation we encourage you to ask as many questions as necessary. Our client first philosophy includes hearing your concerns and addressing them. We know what it is like to navigate difficult accident and injury cases and we want you to know that you do not have to fight against the insurance company on your own. Call or contact us today!
To set up a meeting, call us today at (678) 921-3320 or contact us online.