If you can't come to an agreement, it will be time to resort to the last resort: judgment. Only a very small percentage of all personal injury claims go to trial. However, the best way to avoid a trial is to prepare to win it. If no agreement is reached after the discovery phase, the case is likely to move to alternative conflict resolution.
This will take the form of mediation or arbitration. Mediation is a non-binding procedure in which an external mediator approved by both parties evaluates the arguments of both parties in an effort to resolve any pending disputes. Sometimes, mediation is necessary before proceeding to trial. When you decline a settlement offer, the next step is usually more negotiations.
Your lawyer will continue to try to persuade the other party to make a better offer based on the facts and the law. It's also common for either party to change their offer when new evidence is discovered or when the judge makes a preliminary decision on different parts of the case. Whether or not to go to trial is a vital decision that must be made in conjunction with your Florida personal injury lawyer. Only 4 to 5% of personal injury claims actually make it to the trial phase, meaning that 95 to 95% of cases are resolved out of court.
However, most personal injury law firms (including The Florida Law Group) charge conditional fees, meaning they are only paid if you win monetary compensation. This isn't fair, and arguing with them on your own isn't likely to pay off, but hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you get the maximum compensation you deserve. You should also note that if your injuries are serious or you have not yet recovered from them, your lawyer will likely recommend that you postpone finalizing the settlement or going to court until the extent of your injuries and the impact they will have on your life is more clearly known. For example, if a person who was texting and driving rear-ended you, you may have suffered a serious back and neck injury in the collision.
Your lawyer will ensure that your lawsuit is filed within Florida's four-year statute of limitations for personal injury and prepare your case for trial. Texas law gives you two years from the date of the injury to file most personal injury or wrongful death claims. Therefore, it is important that you hire a law firm with personal injury attorneys who have extensive experience in litigation. Personal injury claims are resolved most of the time because reaching a settlement offers many benefits for both parties.
During the discovery, your legal team and defense personal injury attorneys will determine the relevant facts, exchange documents, and perhaps take statements from several witnesses. For example, you may receive a settlement offer to settle your personal injury case for the exact cost of your medical bills. If it is strategically managed by a personal injury lawyer, an agreement can be reached at the end of the discovery process, effectively resolving the case without having to continue with the litigation.