We live in a wonderful country where people are guaranteed protection. We have the right to expect to be safe from the actions or inactions of others. In most cases, we are. However, accidents happen and when they do – people can be hurt. Injury affects not only our quality of life but can affect our ability to work and care for our families. A serious injury can be financially devastating and even an injury that will heal in a relatively short period of time costs us money in lost wages, medical expenses and time. When this happens we seek justice. It is reasonable to expect the person or company who is responsible for the injury make us financially whole and compensate us for the misery we suffered.
Hiring an attorney to handle our personal injury case, we often think that means a trial. This is not always the case. As a matter of fact, this is not usually the case. We gather evidence to prove the injury and the responsibility of the injury as well as the data to show the amount of money this injury has cost his client. Our attorney takes into consideration the amount of time, pain and emotional damage this injury has cost and how much more it will likely cost. Then he files legal papers advising the company (or person) of what compensation he (and you) feel is required to make you whole.
At this point, the attorney for the other party reviews everything he has sent. He may ask for further clarification, medical evaluation and proof that the accident was his client’s responsibility. In rare cases the client may want to fight the claim out in court. But usually it is to everyone’s best interest to settle the case. This cost him less in time and attorney and court fees. In many cases it benefits him to simply pay the claim rather than incur more expenses that he will have to pay if he loses in court.
Mediation is often part of this process. All the parties involved gather with a mediator to try to come to an agreement. The mediator does not represent either party. Much like a judge, they are impartial and try to assist both parties in seeing things from the point of view of each other. Once an agreement is reached, more paperwork is created and filed. This paperwork says that the injured person and the responsible party have reached an agreement for a certain dollar amount.
Once a settlement has been reached and the paperwork is done, the money will be paid. The attorney for the injured person collects his fees and expenses for his work and the balance goes to the injured person. This is where it ends. There is no going back once an agreement is reached. There is no trial, no jury and no further action is needed.
This is the standard way a case like this is handled. It is always our option to go to court. However, most of us would rather work it out before getting to that point.
If you have suffered an injury and believe you have a personal injury case, please contact Jaime Alvarado & Associates at 915.852.0500 for your free consultation.