What Does Litigation Mean in a Personal Injury Case?

June 18, 2024
Savage, Royall & Sheheen

First, we can clear up a misconception and let you know that personal injury trials are the exception rather than the norm. Both you and the insurance company have an incentive to settle the case and avoid a hearing in front of the jury. However, you may still need to go through the litigation process before you can reach a settlement agreement. When you do litigate your case, you must hire an experienced attorney to represent you at all steps of the process. Call the personal injury lawyers at Savage, Royall & Sheheen, LLP to learn more about how your case may proceed.

When Is Litigation Necessary in a Personal Injury Case?

Your lawyer would advise you on the proper strategy necessary for your personal injury case. Some cases may be resolved informally through the claims process without going to court. In other cases, you may need to file a lawsuit against the responsible party, which the insurance company would have to defend. Everything depends on the particular insurance company involved and whether they may be reasonable in the claims process.

Sometimes, your attorney would advise you to begin the legal process in court with a lawsuit. Filing a court case does not prevent you from reaching a settlement agreement in the future. Litigation is a way of holding the insurance company accountable and taking away some of the power that they think they have. You can develop an even stronger case, and the prospect of going in front of the jury often scares them. Insurance companies know that juries can make them pay far more than they planned in a settlement agreement.

The South Carolina Personal Injury Litigation Process

When you are forced to litigate your case, it may take at least a year from start to finish. Your lawsuit begins when your attorney drafts a complaint, files it with the court, and serves it on the other party. Then, your case may become a series of motions in front of the judge in the early stages. Your attorney would likely need to respond to emotions filed by the defendant to dismiss the case.

The trial is not always the most critical part of your personal injury litigation. The discovery process is vital to your case. Here, your attorney has the legal right to gather evidence that the other party has in their possession, in turn, they have the same right to do so from you. You may even have to sit for a deposition, where you would answer questions under oath from the other party’s attorney.

Settlement discussions are a critical part of the litigation process. Unless there is an extremely wide gap between you and the other party, you can expect that there will be negotiations at various points in the litigation process. Oftentimes, lawsuits will settle after the conclusion of the discovery process when both parties realize the relative strengths of their case. Trial only occurs if you cannot settle your case, and that is typically very rare.

Do You Need an Attorney to Secure Financial Recovery?

To stand the best possible chance of getting full and fair financial compensation for your injuries, you should hire an experienced attorney. Insurance companies will simply not take you seriously if you try to approach them without legal representation. Many people think that they can save money handling their case, keeping the entire amount of their financial recovery for themselves. However, people who try to represent themselves will almost always get less money, even after they pay an attorney their share of a settlement or jury award.

One of the reasons why you need to hire an attorney is because of the prospect of litigation. If you are representing yourself, the insurance company simply has no reason to fear you. They know that you will not take them to court, so they can continue lowballing you and using unreasonable tactics to frustrate your claim.

In addition, an experienced personal injury attorney can do the following for your case:

  • Investigate the accident and build the evidence you need
  • Estimate the value of your claim to seek damages
  • File an insurance claim or lawsuit on your behalf
  • Negotiate compensation with the insurance company
  • Represent you throughout the litigation process

Contact a Camden Personal Injury Attorney Today

When you are hiring a personal injury lawyer, you need an attorney with a reputation for being hard-hitting and aggressive. That is the only way that the insurance companies will take you seriously. The attorneys at Savage, Royall & Sheheen, LLP have a track record of success, both inside of the courtroom and in successfully settling claims on behalf of our clients. You can begin the legal process by scheduling a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys. Send us a message online, or call us today at 803-432-4391 to speak with one of our lawyers. As always, you pay us nothing unless you win your case.

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