If you’re hurt in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, you may file a personal injury claim. Knowing the stages of an injury claim can be helpful so that you know what to expect as you initiate legal action.

When you file an injury claim, this is the official legal action to begin your filing in court. At any time during this process, however, you may have a settlement offer. This is one of the common stages of an injury claim because the insurance company or the negligent party may see the benefit in trying to determine an upfront cost prior to engaging in lengthy litigation.

Although there are circumstances where it makes sense to fairly consider the settlement offer, you are by no means obligated to accept it. You may counter the settlement offer after speaking with your personal injury attorney. The other side may expect that you will counter the offer and respond back with their own adjusted offer. In terms of stages of an injury claim, the settlement offer is a popular place to evaluate whether or not the offer fairly compensations you for your needs or whether you wish to continue with litigation.

If you can both agree on a settlement offer, then paperwork is drafted. Once paperwork is signed, one of the attorneys involved may notify the court that this issue has achieved settlement. Your court case will end at this point. If you cannot agree on settlement, though, your case will proceed.