When most people think about hiring a personal injury attorney, they think they are going to have to sue someone and go to trial. In actuality, hiring a personal injury attorney does not necessarily mean you will be in a lawsuit. In fact, we usually reach a settlement without a lawsuit.
Our first task as your personal injury attorney is to open a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company. This is not a lawsuit but rather documentation of damages and expenses that our attorneys use to negotiate with insurance company claims adjusters to settle your claim. In almost all situations, our attorneys reach a settlement with the insurance company out of court.
Sometimes the Statute of Limitations Leads to a Lawsuit
Once a claim is opened, there are several reasons why a lawsuit may become necessary.
One of our biggest concerns is time. In California, the statute of limitations (the legal time limit you have to file a lawsuit) for a personal injury claim is generally two years from the date of your accident, although there are many exceptions. If this time limit has been exceeded, then you cannot recover anything. California Law only allows you so much time to pursue your legal rights so we might file a lawsuit if your deadline is approaching.
We also file a lawsuit when an insurance company gives us an extremely low offer and you need money as soon as possible. Instead of waiting for us to negotiate back and forth on the terms of your settlement, a lawsuit can produce a quicker resolution. Sometimes, by filing a lawsuit, you actually gain leverage over an insurance company, perhaps causing them to budge on a low initial settlement offer.
Your Attorney Might Suggest a Trial
Even though statistics show that the large majority of car accidents settle well before trial, our personal injury attorneys have found that the type of cases that go to trial are most often the cases that are close calls. Trials usually occur when the amount of money you should be paid is unclear.
Here are some general examples of when a personal injury lawyer might have to go to a trial:
- The money offer from the responsible party’s auto accident insurance company is too low and would be an unfair settlement to you.
- It is not clear who caused your automobile accident.
- The responsible party’s insurance company might think that you, the injured party, is not telling the truth or might be exaggerating any injuries.
- The insurance attorney might believe that you, the injured party, is completely making up an injury claim. One good example is when a person injured in a car accident claims that their tooth was injured when all they suffered was whiplash.
- The damages to either person’s car in a car accident appear to be minor so that a jury might determine that the car accident damages were inadequate, in their minds, to have caused any injuries.
- The responsible person’s insurance company may believe that their driver was not actually insured at the time of the accident. This is called a reservation of rights.
- It might be argued that you made your own car accident injury worse by not protecting yourself, such as not wearing a seatbelt, riding in a car that was driven by a teenage or adult drunk driver (DUI).
- Too much time has gone by since the date of the car accident until now and the statute of limitations may become a concern.
Call Us Now For Help With Your Insurance Claim
Since 1992, our San Diego law offices have been helping people just like you recover the maximum financial compensation for their personal injury. You shouldn’t have to worry about fighting insurance companies, so leave that to our experienced personal injury attorneys. Let us help you recover the maximum personal injury settlement by properly filing your insurance claim.
Leave the personal injury claim process to us. It’s what we do.
If you would like help with your personal injury claim, then please contact our bilingual offices as soon as possible at 1-858-551-2090 or click here for a FREE consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in San Diego. We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you owe us nothing until we recover money on your behalf.