Litigation is what happens when you take a personal injury case to court. There is generally more than one way to recover compensation following a negligence accident. The options include:
- Filing a claim based on the at-fault party’s insurance coverage
- Taking the case to trial by filing a lawsuit against the liable party
The second option is known as “litigating the case.”
When is Litigation Necessary in a Personal Injury Case?
The vast majority of personal injury cases settle without needing to go to trial. However, some circumstances could make it necessary to begin a lawsuit against the party that caused your injuries.
Many of these cases never make it to trial, either. Often, they settle before going before a judge and jury. Litigation in personal injury cases does happen, but not in most cases. Some reasons why it may be necessary include:
The Insurer Denies the Claim or Rejects Fair Offers
When an insurance company will not negotiate in good faith and refuses to offer a just settlement based on the evidence available, it may benefit you to take them to trial and allow a judge and jury to decide.
The Insurer Claims the Victim Shares Fault
When the victim and the at-fault party both contribute to an incident and injuries, Louisiana’s comparative fault law, CC §2323, may apply. This means they could share the financial liability.
In some cases, insurance companies will blame the victim or claim the victim shares responsibility. When this occurs, your attorney may need to present evidence at trial to mitigate this effect.
The Liable Party has Resources but not Insurance Coverage
In some cases, the liable party may not have insurance coverage, so victims cannot file a claim. However, a civil lawsuit to recover compensation may be possible. These cases could still settle out of court, though.
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What can You Expect if Your Case goes to Litigation?
If you work with a lawyer from our team, they will offer specific guidance about what to expect in your case as it moves forward. In general, your attorney will prepare the documents and file them in the appropriate civil court—generally in the parish where your injuries occurred—to begin the process.
Then, there is a period where the at-fault party has an opportunity to receive the information and respond. Both sides can investigate what happened, make pre-trial motions to the judge, and continue settlement negotiations if they want.
If there is no agreement, the last step is appearing in court, where your attorney will present a strong argument to show:
- The other party had a duty to act a certain way to protect you.
- They acted negligently.
- Their negligence caused the incident that led to your physical, emotional, and financial harm.
- You experienced recoverable losses and expenses.
The judge and jury will announce a verdict and possibly a monetary court award at the conclusion of the trial.
Do You need an Attorney in order to Secure Financial Recovery?
Many people opt to file insurance claims and seek compensation on their own, especially after car accidents or when injuries are relatively minor. However, there are many advantages of having an attorney on your side.
This is particularly true if you need to litigate your case. You probably do not want to represent yourself to the judge and jury in a civil lawsuit and go toe-to-toe with the negligent party, their insurance company, and their attorney.
Other advantages of having a lawyer from our firm representing you during settlement negotiations or at trial include:
- You can feel confident your rights remain protected.
- We will calculate your losses and expenses.
- You do not have to figure out how to prepare and file claims.
- You should not need to negotiate with the insurance company.
- You can focus on your physical recovery from your injuries.
- We work based on contingent fees, so we only get attorney’s fees if you recover money.
How can You Learn more About Moving Forward with a Case for Compensation?
Our Louisiana law firm provides injured parties and their families with free case reviews and consultations. Doing so allows you to learn about how strong your case is, what you can do to seek compensation and more without spending any money at all.
In general, CC §3492 gives personal injury victims only one year to begin litigation against the negligent party. However, some circumstances offer even less time to take action. It’s beneficial to start thinking about your potential case soon after your injuries stabilize to make the most of the time available.
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Speak with Our Attorneys at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
You can speak with a representative from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers about your Louisiana personal injury case today for free. We provide complimentary consultations for families facing financial losses after an injury accident.
Call today to get started.