What If the Opposing Party Refuses to Settle?
The ideal outcome of any spinal cord injury claim is to reach a fair settlement without having to go to trial. Unfortunately, because these cases can involve millions of dollars in damages, it is often necessary to file a lawsuit and proceed with litigation.
Just because you file a lawsuit doesn’t mean your case will end up in court. In fact, the majority of personal injury cases do not proceed to trial even if a lawsuit is filed. Sometimes just filing a lawsuit is enough to pressure the opposing party into paying a settlement. After all, litigation can be expensive, time-consuming, and stressful, so if the defense was just taking a hardline during negotiations to find out what happens, filing a lawsuit would essentially be “calling their bluff” and might result in a settlement.
If no settlement is reached, the case will proceed to the discovery phase. During discovery, your legal team and the personal injury attorneys for the defense will ascertain relevant facts, exchange documents, and perhaps take depositions from various witnesses.
Discovery is a critical stage of litigation. When handled strategically by a highly skilled personal injury attorney, a settlement may be reached at the end of discovery, effectively resolving the case without having to proceed further into litigation. It is important, therefore, that you hire a law firm with personal injury attorneys that have extensive litigation experience.
Our Riviera Beach spinal cord injury lawyers have built a reputation as tough litigators who invest considerable time and resources into every case they handle. Insurance companies know that we are more than willing to proceed all the way to trial when we think it is in our client’s best interests to do so. We work with numerous well-credentialed expert witnesses in a variety of disciplines—economists, medical doctors, life care planners, occupational therapists, and many others—and we know how to use the deposition of these experts to gain an edge during discovery.
If no settlement is reached following the discovery phase, the case will likely proceed to alternative dispute resolution. This will take the form of either mediation or arbitration. Mediation is a non-binding proceeding in which a third-party mediator approved by both parties evaluates the arguments on both sides in an effort to resolve any remaining disputes. Mediation is sometimes necessary before proceeding to trial.
In alternative dispute resolution, an arbitrator makes a final decision on the case, which is binding. If you try to proceed to trial, a judge might order that the case go through arbitration if a settlement seems within reach. If your lawsuit is not resolved through alternative dispute resolution, the next step would be going to trial.
Our Riviera Beach spinal cord injury attorneys have decades of trial experience. They understand how to build compelling, evidence-based arguments tailored to the unique circumstances of each individual case. While our legal team will do everything in their power to reach a fair settlement without having to go to court, they aren’t afraid to go to trial if it is in your best interests to do so.