The thought of appearing before a judge is usually enough for injured car accident victims not to seek compensation for their injuries. Thankfully, they don’t always need to go to court to recover damages. Some cases can be resolved outside of the courtroom. A houston car accident attorney can explain the alternatives victims can explore. These alternatives include the following:
Before a car accident victim decides to file a lawsuit in court, their attorney may try to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company of the at-fault driver. To get started, the lawyer will draft a demand letter and serve it to the insurer. The letter should list every important date and describe the events that surround the injury. It must also state the exact amount of money the victim spent on their medical treatment. Once the letter has been served, settlement talks between parties begin. Negotiations will continue until both parties can reach an agreement.
Mediation is a process in which an objective third party will help disputing parties come to terms on a claim settlement agreement. Often, this process is voluntary. But, sometimes, a judge may order this if the claimant has already filed a lawsuit and the court has not set a trial date. Through mediation, both parties can look at their argument closely to know if they can still settle a claim without going to court.
Arbitration is often mandatory if both parties have a contract before the injuries were sustained. For instance, if there is an existing liability waiver, claims brought against the negligent party may need to be resolved through binding arbitration. In binding arbitration, the decision of the arbitrator cannot be appealed. Parties that choose to have a third party deciding their case to avoid paying costly court fees can opt for arbitration.
This alternative may be considered when there are technical issues that demand special expertise for resolving a dispute between parties. This process lets both parties can have their arguments heard and assessed by a field expert to determine the possible outcome of a trial. The opinion of the third party in this process is not binding, so a lawsuit can be filed by a party.
An experienced car accident attorney understands the concerns of injury victims and is ready to discuss all their options during a free consultation. The lawyer can represent victims of car accidents in both negotiations and court appearances.