Accidents happen. Tens of millions of Americans get professional medical care for accidental injuries each year. If you were hurt in an accident caused by another party, you have the right to seek financial compensation through a personal injury claim. You may be wondering: Will I need to testify in court to get compensation for my injuries? In most cases, the answer is “no”—though, while few personal injury claims require litigation, it is always a possibility that you should be prepared for. Here, our Stockton personal injury lawyers explain the most important things you need to know about personal injury litigation and personal injury settlements.
Only a Small Share of Personal Injury Claims Go to Trial
As a starting point, it is useful to understand that few people are required to testify in court in personal injury claims because only a small share of these cases actually go to trial. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), only around 3 percent of cases ever make it to trial. There are several reasons why so few personal injury cases go to trial. Though, the primary reason is that many plaintiffs and defendants (or their insurers) are able to come to an agreement. In other words, the vast majority of personal injury claims are resolved outside of the courtroom.
With that said, you should never assume at the outset of a personal injury case that litigation will not be required. The reality is that personal injury litigation can happen in any particular case. If your personal injury claim does end up in court, it is imperative that you are represented by an experienced Stockton, CA personal injury attorney. A trial-tested lawyer will make sure that your rights and interests are protected—including if you are required to testify.
How to Get a Settlement in a Personal Injury Claim in Stockton
While far more personal injury cases are settled than receive a verdict, that does not mean that it is easy to get a full and fair personal injury settlement in California. Quite the contrary, insurance companies are extremely aggressive. Here are three key tips to a personal injury settlement:
- Be Proactive: You do not want to fall behind the defense or insurance carrier in a Stockton, CA personal injury case. Be proactive. The sooner you take action, the better. Consult with an experienced attorney right away after your accident. A Stockton personal injury lawyer will help you take the immediate steps that you need to pursue justice.
- Prove Liability: In order to get a settlement, you will need to prove that the other party was at fault. Defendants and insurers always start by looking to escape liability. As California is a comparative negligence jurisdiction, establishing the full extent of liability is essential.
- Carefully Document Damages: A settlement for a personal injury will generally be based on your actual damages. You will need to prove the complete extent of your economic and non-economic losses. Proving damages starts with medical records, but other evidence may also be required. Even when liability has been established, insurers will try to reduce settlements by downplaying damages.
The key to getting a maximum personal injury settlement is proving to the defense/insurer that you will be able to hold them liable in court—should your case make it that far. Only when insurance companies understand the strength of your case will they take settlement negotiations seriously. A top-rated Stockton personal injury attorney can help you build a strong case.
You Can Seek Compensation For Economic and Intangible Damages
Through a personal injury claim in California, you have the right to seek compensation for both economic and intangible damages. Once again, defendants and insurers are by no means eager to pay out personal injury settlements. At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, our Stockton personal injury attorneys fight tirelessly to help victims and families maximize their recovery. Depending on the nature or severity of your accident in Stockton, you may be able to recover for:
- Property damage;
- Emergency room care;
- Hospital bills;
- Rehabilitative medical care;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning potential;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish;
- Disfigurement; and
- Wrongful death.
Speak to Our Stockton Personal Injury Attorney Today
At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, our Stockton personal injury lawyers fight tirelessly to put our clients in the best position to get justice. If you have any specific questions or concerns about personal injury law or the personal injury claims process, we can help. Give us a call now or contact us online for a free review of your personal injury claim. With a law office in Stockton, we represent injured victims throughout the region, including in the San Joaquin Valley and Central California.