When You Should Think About Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Posted on behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on March 26, 2021

. Updated on March 23, 2022


questions about filing a lawsuitOne of the first questions that may come to mind when you suffer an injury at the hands of someone else is whether you need to file a lawsuit.

If you have questions about filing a lawsuit, you should speak to a South Bend car accident attorney. An experienced attorney can explain when filing a lawsuit may be a good idea and what factors into that decision. Most cases are resolved through an insurance settlement, and filing a lawsuit is often the last resort.

Negotiating a Settlement

The first step in most injury cases is filing a personal injury claim with the liable party’s insurer. Once the insurance company is notified it has the opportunity to respond to your complaint, either by denying the claim or making a settlement offer. Your attorney may need to negotiate with the insurance company to agree on the value of the claim.

However, when negotiations break down, your attorney may consider filing a lawsuit to recover the compensation the insurer is refusing to pay. The negotiations process may break down for several reasons, but some of the most common reasons include disputes about who is at fault for the accident and disputes about the severity of your injuries.

Consider the Expenses

Prior to filing a lawsuit, you and your attorney should discuss the additional expenses associated with it. Settling a claim is usually more cost-effective but may not always be the right choice if the insurance company is not acting in good faith.

The expenses to consider include, but may not be limited to, the following:

  • Court filing fees
  • Service fees
  • Discovery costs
  • Expert witness testimony

Extent of Damages

You should consider the extent of your damages before you file a lawsuit. Most types of damages may be included in settlement discussions, but there are some that may only be recoverable in a jury trial. You may also be able to recover more compensation in a jury trial than you would through an insurance claim.

Costs of Medical Treatment

Some accidents could result in serious injuries that leave you with large bills for hospital stays, doctor’s visits and physical therapies. For injuries that may be more permanent, you may have ongoing medical bills. If your medical costs exceed the liability limits for an insurance policy, filing a lawsuit may be the route to take, especially if the insurance company is not offering a reasonable settlement.

Pain and Suffering

Although pain and suffering damages may be negotiated in a settlement, there is a chance that a jury could award a higher amount than the insurance company. This is important to consider prior to filing a lawsuit because there is a lot that goes into proving pain and suffering at trial.

Property Damage

If your vehicle was damaged or declared a total loss after your accident, you should be able to obtain compensation for it. But there is other disputable property damage that you might recover if a lawsuit is filed, such as injuries or death to a pet or damage to an item that had sentimental value. If your attorney can successfully prove the sentimental value to these items is worth more than their price tag, you might be able to recover compensation for them in a lawsuit.

Punitive Damages

These damages are only recoverable when an injury was caused by malicious intent or if the person who caused your injury broke the law. Punitive damages might apply to accidents involving drunk drivers or hit-and-run collisions. They are meant to punish the person who caused your injury to deter them and others from acting in this manner again.

Because of the nature of the damages, an injury victim may only recover compensation if a lawsuit is filed, and the malicious intent is proven.

Call a Licensed Attorney Today

Our attorneys know when a situation may warrant a lawsuit. We regularly take cases to court and are always prepared for it.

With a track record of millions recovered on behalf of accident victims, the attorneys at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak are prepared to help you pursue the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages and other damages. We do not charge you anything up front and only get paid if you do.

Call today for a free consultation: (574) 444-0741

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases