When Do I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Whether you were in a car accident, fell of a ladder, or were hurt by a defective toaster or cellphone, someone may be at fault and liable to pay for your lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other expenses. A lawsuit may seem like the best option. After all, there are lawsuit loans, or even the better option — pre-settlement funding, that can get you financed long before the case settles. The bottom line is, if you can’t work, you need money. Nonetheless, lawsuits aren’t always the most practical financial solution.
Lawsuit vs. Personal Injury Claim
Your ultimate goal is adequate compensation for your injuries or any losses sustained in the accident. Speak to your attorney, who may benefit from litigation financing, but who can advise you on your options.
The first step is typically a personal injury claim. Filed with the responsible party’s insurance company, a claim enables you to negotiate a settlement with the insurer. Many attorneys are highly skilled in this area. During the process, your injuries may be looked at during an independent medical examination. Court proceedings won’t be necessary if subsequent negotiations lead to a settlement agreed upon by both sides.
A personal injury lawsuit is a last resort if both sides can’t negotiate a mutually satisfactory settlement. There are multiple steps to preparing a trial, from petition to discovery of harm, to depositions. You’ll need to appear in court several times and present witnesses of the accident, including expert medical witnesses to verify your injuries. There is almost always opposition from the other side. First, your defendant’s lawyer will try to throw the case out before the trial; even if the court decides in your favor, the defendant can file an appeal to reduce compensation or overturn the decision entirely.
What If Negotiations Fail?
Negotiating a settlement can be difficult, but a trial isn’t always necessary if early discussions don’t end in your favor. Arbitration may be the next step, in which an independent party or group receives accounts from both sides. After listening to each side, the arbitrator makes a decision. The upside—arbitration is less costly and less time-consuming than a lawsuit (it does not require legal funding). There are different forms of arbitration as well; one even guarantees you’ll get some money, even if the decision isn’t in your favor. However, most of the time, you can’t appeal an arbitrator’s decision.
How to Avoid a Lawsuit
Lawsuits can take months or years and cost money you don’t have. There are even more reasons to avoid them. Even if you can secure lawsuit funding, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll see an award that matches the full amount of your claim. The strength of your case isn’t a guarantee either.
In the interim, there are petition filing fees, deposition, medical examination, and travel costs, plus the costs of copying medical records, obtaining witness statements, and getting police reports.
In fact, if you lose a lawsuit, you will not recover anything. That’s where legal funding could benefit you. With pre-settlement funding from FCA Legal Funding, you only pay back your advance if you win your case! Our lawsuit funding specialists offer legal funding for a variety of personal injury cases, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip & fall accidents, electric scooter accidents & more.