Different Ways to Resolve Florida Accident Claims
In many personal injury car and truck accident cases, you may need to file a lawsuit get the ball rolling. However, merely filing a lawsuit in the Florida court system does not necessarily guarantee that your case will—or should—go to trial. In fact, most personal injury cases settle long before trial.
In addition to settlements, other types of alternative dispute resolution measures for personal injury claims include mediation and arbitration.
The experienced St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers at Berkowitz & Myer can review the facts of your case and may help you reach a resolution via settlement, alternative dispute resolution, or, if necessary trial.
Settling Personal Injury Cases
Most personal injury cases settle before trial. Settlement negotiations usually occur between the plaintiff’s attorney and the at-fault party’s insurance company adjuster (or defense attorney). The process usually begins when the plaintiff’s attorney makes an initial demand for a settlement and the insurance adjuster comes back with an initial offer. Negotiations usually continue until the parties reach a settlement agreement or an impasse.
Litigating a Personal Injury Case
If the insurance company and the injured plaintiff cannot agree on an acceptable settlement offer, they can litigate the personal injury case through the Florida court system. Once a lawsuit is filed, written and oral discovery takes place, then the parties may attend a settlement conference or mediation proceeding. During mediation, a neutral, third-party mediator—usually a lawyer or retired judge—will work with the parties to try to amicably resolve the claim.
Instead of—or in addition to—mediation, the parties may agree to binding or non-binding arbitration, during which monetary parameters are set and the parties informally try their cases in front of the arbitrator. The arbitrator then makes a decision in the case. In binding arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision is final and may not be appealed.
Personal Injury Jury Trials
If the parties cannot agree to settle the case—and if other alternative dispute resolution methods have failed (or are unavailable)—the last recourse is usually a jury trial. Personal injury jury trials can be long, stressful, and expensive. In most cases, parties should only try personal injury cases as an absolute last resort. During a jury trial, the jurors must unanimously decide your case and determine what compensation to which you are entitled if any.
Going to trial can be extremely risky. A St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer can help you decide whether you should settle your case, pursue alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration, or take the risk of going to trial.
Contact a St. Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation
If you sustained injuries in a car or truck accident, there are many ways of recovering monetary compensation under Florida law. The personal injury lawyers at Berkowitz & Myer can evaluate your case and help you explore all of your legal options.
To schedule a free initial consultation or case evaluation with a St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer, please call us today at (727) 344-0123 or contact us online.