After a person sustains a serious injury due to the negligence, recklessness, or carelessness of another individual, the victim (“plaintiff”) may decide to file a personal injury claim against the person at fault. After the claim is filed, the person responsible for the victim’s injuries (the “defendant”) or their insurance company may make an offer of payment to the plaintiff to settle the case.
It is important to keep in mind that a settlement offer can be made before a lawsuit is filed. In addition, it can be made after a case goes to trial or after the trial begins so long as a final verdict has not been decided. Some settlements are made while the jury is deliberating if one or both parties are worried that the jury will make an unfavorable decision. After a settlement agreement is reached, a plaintiff must relinquish any potential claims against the defendant. To do so, the plaintiff must sign a full liability release.
If a settlement cannot be reached outside the court and the claim is not dropped, a trial may be necessary.
A case usually moves to trial after a plaintiff decides that the settlement offer is inadequate. The trial allows the plaintiff to argue his or her case in hope of attaining judgment against the defense. In addition, it allows the defendant to refute the plaintiff’s case by offering his or her own evidence related to the accident.
Once the plaintiff, defendant, and the legal counsels of both parties (if applicable) have presented their arguments and evidence, a judge or jury will assess the case and determine whether the defendant should be held liable for the plaintiff’s claims and, if so, what amount of money the defendant will be required to pay.
Harmed in an Accident? Call Waltman & Grisham Attorneys at Law.
If you have been involved in an accident and believe another individual
should be held liable for your injuries and damages, we urge you to get
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