What you’ll learn reading this article:
- Many people are afraid to file a lawsuit for fear of being stigmatized or because they are worried about the time and effort a lawsuit can entail.
- Too often, individuals don’t realize how little bargaining power they have against an insurance company when representing themselves. They need help gaining leverage.
- Speaking with an attorney can help you better understand your case and the pros and cons of pursuing litigation.
In a perfect world, personal injuries due to the negligence of someone else wouldn’t happen, let alone the hassle of negotiations with an insurance company after your injury. Unfortunately, though, they do happen, and while you can sometimes come to a reasonable agreement with an insurance company without taking legal action, other times it may be required.
Oftentimes, negotiations may falter between you and the insurance company or you may have trouble getting the company to respond to your claims because they hold the bargaining power. In these types of situations, filing a lawsuit can be beneficial, but too many individuals worry about the stigma associated with those who sue others or the stress of taking on litigation.
Because of this, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of choosing to file a lawsuit for your accident-related injury.
Pros of Filing a Lawsuit
On your own, you are no big threat to the insurance company, and it is in no hurry to settle your claims and lose money. When you choose to pursue a lawsuit, however, the power dynamic shifts.
Oftentimes, you don’t even need to officially file a lawsuit to shift this power balance; simply seeking legal representation can be enough. With an attorney on your side, the insurance company knows a lawsuit could be coming and is much more willing to settle on fairer terms. In fact, hiring a lawyer has been proven to help you receive larger settlements than if you were to go at it alone.
The threat of a larger payout as the result of a jury trial can provide you with important leverage in settling your claim.
If and when you do file a lawsuit, this also means you will have access to more information about your case and can even find more evidence to strengthen it. This provides you with even more leverage than before.
Cons of Filing a Lawsuit
One con of a lawsuit is that it will usually mean that you are waiting longer to receive your settlement. Without litigation, a settlement that is agreed upon is yours fairly quickly. However, the process of a trial requires a few steps that stretch this out.
First, the other side has the opportunity to hire their own representation, who will take the time to review materials. Afterward, they will file their answer, which will be followed by a discovery period for both sides to research and gather all possible information about the case. This whole process can be lengthy, and even if terms are agreed upon during mediation and before a trial, it could mean you have waited several months if not years for your compensation.
Additionally, more money is involved in filing a lawsuit, such as:
- The filing fee that goes to the court.
- Fees to acquire transcripts of depositions.
- Hiring expert witnesses.
- Mediation expenses.
You will also owe a fee to your attorney, though most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee, meaning you do not owe them any money upfront but instead they receive a percentage of your settlement if you win. Many Indiana personal injury lawyers’ fees range from 33 to 40%.
At Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery, our fee is only 25%* for accident-related injury cases, which means more of your compensation stays with you.
In the end, discussing your case with an attorney can help you make the best decision on whether or not to file a lawsuit. At Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery we offer a free case review to help you know your best options.
Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery—Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured physically or mentally by a person, product or company, you need to know your legal rights. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced with cases like yours and can evaluate what your case may be worth. We will ensure that you are protected and compensated for your injuries and losses.
Why pay up to 40% in attorney fees? Our fee is only 25%*, and we fight to win your case or you pay no attorney fees at all. Don’t hesitate—one of our experienced attorneys can assist you right away.
Call (800) 265-9881 for a free case review.
Hi. My name is Rich Bucheri from Poynter & Bucheri, and today I want to talk about whether you should file a lawsuit for your accident-related injuries.
There are several pros and cons of filing a lawsuit. Let’s say you’re in negotiation with the insurance company and the negotiations have faltered, that you’re just really far apart, but you don’t necessarily want to file a lawsuit because you think there’s a stigma of being somebody that sues somebody else, or maybe you just don’t want to go through the time and trouble of being involved in litigation. Those are things that you have to balance with the benefits of going to file a lawsuit.
One of those is the leverage that you have and the pressure that you can apply to the insurance company to continue to negotiate. Basically, at the end of the day, the only thing that you can do to force the company to continue to negotiate is to threaten going to jury trial and getting an even bigger verdict than what they may have to pay. When you file a lawsuit, you’re starting that process of adding leverage, adding pressure.
When you also file a lawsuit, you’re able to get more information about your case, and perhaps your case can get stronger as a result. Maybe when you do discovery, you’ll find out that the person was texting on his phone at the time that the accident happened, or maybe you’ll find out that they were under some kind of medication and they shouldn’t have been driving, and so your case gets stronger.
Some cons are obviously that this is going to be a much longer timeline than it would be if they were able to just write a check at the end of settlement in pre-litigation. When you file a lawsuit, they’re going to have to have an opportunity to hire their lawyer, and then that lawyer needs to review everything and then file their answer, and then there’s going to be a discovery process. Oftentimes, cases don’t get settled until the mediation process, once litigation is started, and that could be months or even years down the road.
Then, finally, there’s going to also be more expenses involved with filing a lawsuit. When you file a lawsuit, there’s a filing fee that immediately gets paid to the court. Then there are depositions where you have to pay court reporters for transcripts. If you have expert witnesses such as doctors, that’s not going to be cheap either.
There’s mediation expenses, and then there’s the expenses involved with preparing for trial if you need specialized exhibits or if you have to hire additional witnesses, expert witnesses. If they’re from out of state, maybe you have to put them up. There are all kinds of potential expenses involved with filing a lawsuit as well.
Your attorney is going to be able to take a look at these pros and cons and give you advice as to whether filing a lawsuit is the thing to do to try to get more money or whether or not the pre-litigation offer is one where it’s probably worth it just to go ahead and take it and avoid the hassle of litigation.