Personal Injury Case: Pre-Litigation Versus Litigation

When dealing with a personal injury case, you may have heard these two terms come up at some point: pre-litigation and litigation. Many law firms do both but others may decide to focus their attention on one or the other. Depending on the law firm, your personal injury case may be handled by one attorney during pre-litigation and another during litigation. Let’s take a further look at these two terms.

Pre-Litigation Personal Injury Case

Many people know that attorneys and lawyers go to trials and mediations and arbitrations but in a personal injury case, there’s something that happens before all of that. In fact, if pre-litigation goes well, you and your attorney won’t have any reason to go to court at all! Pre-litigation is basically the beginning of your case and during a personal injury includes the following:

  1. Opening your personal injury claim with an insurance company
  2. Your medical treatment to get back to your pre-injury status
  3. Getting your bills paid by PIP or health insurance
  4. Sending a settlement demand to the insurance company
  5. Negotiating a settlement offer

If you or your attorney are unhappy with the insurance company’s offers, or if you are still treating and your statute of limitation is coming up within a month, your attorney will file suit in the county you were injured and your case will move into litigation.

Litigation Personal Injury Case

Litigation takes place once a personal injury case has been filed with the court. Sometimes filing will be enough to make the insurance company rethink their initial offers and the case only stays in litigation for a month or two. However, if the insurance company keeps making low offers, here’s the progression you can expect when your case is in litigation and you have completed your treatment:

  1. Initial lawsuit documentation (summons, complaints, and service documents)
  2. Fact-finding and discovery (interrogatories, answers to interrogatories, depositions)
  3. Mediation, arbitration, or both
  4. Jury trial

Mediation and arbitration both seek to reach a settlement without having to go through with the trial. In mediation, an experienced attorney or former judge listens to both sides of the case and tries to help both sides come to an agreement. In arbitration, one or more experienced attorneys or former judges take on the role of a judge and jury

When facing a personal injury case, The Advocates can help you through any stage of the case. Our skilled attorneys are almost always successful in negotiating a fair settlement for their clients during pre-litigation. However, if you and your attorney don’t feel the pre-litigation offer is enough, your Advocate will litigate you case until compensation can be reached. If you’ve suffered a personal injury, call us today—your consultation is free!