Sometimes, filing a lawsuit and going to trial in your personal injury case is not the best course of action. In fact, after all the years I’ve been in practice (for both plaintiff and defense), I cannot remember a single time when my client or the client for the other side said they enjoyed the process and would do it again. No one walks out of that courtroom saying, “Gee that was fantastic! Let’s do that again!”
Going through litigation is a very difficult experience and is never fun. Sure, there might be the rare person who enjoys antagonism and the adversarial process. However, most people aren’t wired like that. It is intrusive, expensive, and frustrating to say the least. In most cases, the result is not what you would have wanted. Therefore, I always encourage my clients to thoroughly explore diplomatic solutions before they file a lawsuit.
Diplomatic solutions include negotiations with the insurance adjuster, lien holders, doctors, etc. Also, there are alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods such as mediation and arbitration that should be thoroughly explored before filing a lawsuit. After filing a lawsuit, one should always keep their options open and entertain these alternative methods as well. Remember, you want to resolve your case on her own terms rather than leave it up to 12 jurors who don’t know you. If you settle your case, at least it’s your choice and you have some control over the outcome. Your expectations may be thwarted when it comes to a jury who doesn’t necessarily share all your opinions.
It's very simple. Would you go river rafting without a guide? Trying to handle your own auto accident claim can be like trying to go river rafting without a guide. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows where all the "twists" and "turns" are and they can give you important guidance when it comes to your case. I think that even if you have a minor accident, it would be a good idea to talk to an experienced accident lawyer to get some pointers about how to handle your case. It can't hurt.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,