Almost 80 percent of Americans believe advertising by personal injury lawyers encourages people to sue even if they have not been injured. (Sick of Lawsuits National Survey, Conducted by Public Opinion Strategies)
There is a very organized and very polished Public Relations machine that exists, and their job is to attach the word “frivolous” to the word “lawsuit” at every given opportunity.
Despite what many think, a great majority of personal injury lawsuits don’t occur because the plaintiff wants to get rich. The operative word is “injury,” which means pain, suffering, damage, and loss. We have yet to represent a client who believes that their injury was a good thing, or that it was a great money making the opportunity.
Why do our clients come to us?
Because something awful happened to them or someone they love, and those responsible for the damage aren’t accepting their responsibility.
Given the choice between going through a lawsuit and having their lives go back to the way, it was before the injury, every single client that we have ever represented would take the latter option without even thinking about it.
Taken from start to finish, a personal injury suit can last for years. The negotiation of a fair settlement can take anywhere from four to nine months, while an actual trial can take up to four years.
Here is what happens in a car accident claim:
1. An attorney will meet with you to learn about you and the accident.
2. You will continue with your medical treatment based on your doctor’s recommendations.
3. We will order your medical records and bills and put them together in a “Med Pack.”
4. We will send this Med Pack over to the at-fault party’s insurance company with a demand that they pay the bills.
5. We will negotiate a maximum settlement on your behalf that will include funds for pain and suffering and any lost wages.
What happens if the insurance company still won’t give me a good settlement?
If we can’t come to an adequate agreement, or if the responsible party refuses to accept the terms, then we move on to the actual filing of the suit.
Here is what that entails:
1. Filing a complaint. This is the technical term for filing a lawsuit with the court.
2. The discovery process. This is when both parties gather the facts and evidence needed to prove their case, like gathering records, depositions, questioning witnesses, or visiting the scene of the incident.
3. The trial process. There are minor variations from state to state, but generally speaking, it occurs as follows:
Presentation by Plaintiff: This is where we present our side of the case to either the judge or jury.
Presentation by Defendant: At this point, it’s the defendants turn to give his side of the story, and we have the equal right to scrutinize his evidence and cross-examine his witnesses.
Rebuttal by Plaintiff: Since the burden of proof is on us, we have the opportunity to go over the defendant’s side of the story a second time. This allows us to go over and possibly de-emphasize any points that the defense made during the course of their presentation.
Summation by Both Parties: This is basically a recap of the important parts of the trial, in which we explain how and why our client’s rights have been violated and the defense explains why they think they have lived up to their responsibility.
Judge’s Instruction to the Jury: If the case is being heard by a jury, the judge has an obligation to inform them specifically what laws or principles are being potentially violated here. This is meant to ensure that, during the course of their deliberations, the jury will stay within the parameters of what the case was about.
Jury Deliberation: The jury goes over all the facts of the case and determines whether or not the defendant was liable for the damages requested by the plaintiff.
Verdict: The jury reveals their decision.
Judgment: This is where the amount of the award (or damages) is determined. It could be the entire amount requested by the plaintiff, or it could be less.
Appeal: Both the plaintiff and the defendant have the right to appeal the decision if they lose. Defendants will often appeal if the plaintiff is offered punitive damages, usually on the grounds that punitive damages are excessive.
Charles E. Boyk Law OF takes pride in serving the real needs of real victims. Our clients are everyday people who have suffered devastating losses, and those losses are usually downplayed or discounted by the people responsible for them.
We take our relationships with our clients seriously and do everything we can to make sure that they are treated fairly and decently during the legal process. If you or a loved one has suffered a painful and costly injury from a Fayette, Ohio car accident, and you don’t feel that your needs and concerns are being taken seriously by those responsible, contact our offices for a free case assessment today.