Most Common Questions About Car Accident Cases
How Long Does It Take To Settle A Car Accident Injury Case?
There is no standard time limit for settling your case. Some settle in a matter of weeks, while some cases go through trial and appeal before they are resolved. Important factors in this include the nature of your injuries, the amount of insurance coverage, and the attitude of the insurance company and/or its lawyers.
For example, if you sustain a serious injury and liability is clear and policy limits are relatively low, your case may settle quickly. However, if liability or injuries from a car accident that was not your fault are not so apparent, it may take many months, and in some cases, years, to get your case resolved. It may take many months of medical treatment to determine the full extent of the injury. The case and the cash value can then be evaluated. Hiring a top car accident lawyer is important because an expert civil trial attorney can usually maximize your recovery.
What Do I Have To Do If A Suit Is Filed?
Many cases are settled before a suit is filed, but many settle only after a suit is filed. Often, the insurance company will not make a fair settlement proposal until a lawsuit is filed and they are facing a trial date. In such cases, what will be your role in the process?
In almost all cases, the first phase is the “discovery” phase. This is the period where both sides gather information about the case. In such cases, you will work with Zarzaur Law’s paralegals and board-certified civil trial attorneys to prepare such information. You will usually be required to help fill out paperwork, also known as “interrogatories” and “requests for production.” You may also be required to give a “deposition,” which is a sworn statement about your case. Your attorney will prepare you for this and be with you every step of the way.
Often, the case will be referred to “mediation” to try and settle the case prior to going to trial. A settlement conference is conducted by a certified mediator, not a judge. At these meetings, no testimony is given, as your attorney will handle the presentation and you will be involved in the negotiations with the advice of your attorney. Many cases settle at mediation or soon after mediation. It is an excellent time to bring both parties together to analyze the case. At these conferences, your attorney will guide you every step of the way through these conferences.
In the rare case that goes to trial, you will testify before the jury. Again, you will be prepped by your attorney for this testimony.
Do I Have To Go To Trial To Receive A Settlement?
The vast majority of cases settle long before suit is filed, and if suit is filed, long before trial. Hiring a board-certified civil trial attorney sends a message to the insurance company that your case will be “trial ready” and this usually leads to a settlement.
The final decision to settle is always yours, with the advice of your attorney. We have been fortunate to settle cases fairly without going to trial, but have taken many cases to trial with excellent results.
In order to be certified by the Florida Bar, you must have proven trial skills and have recommendations from both experienced trial lawyers and trial judges.
Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.
It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.
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