If you were injured due to someone else's negligence, you have the right to sue for proper compensation. It is the only way to receive money your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages while you were injured. Filing your claim against another person doesn't automatically mean your case goes directly to court. There are two steps that can happen before a trial occurs.
The Liability Investigation
In order to properly assess a penalty that is associated with an injury, the liability investigation must take place. It will determine who was responsible for the accident, and how responsible they were. The investigator will look at the facts related to the accident and will determine if you had any responsibility in causing the accident to happen. If you are found to be partially responsible, it would lower the total amount of compensation you could potentially receive.
The liability investigation also assigns responsibility in cases where there are multiple parties involved. For example, in a car accident that involves multiple drivers there will need to be a percentage of blame associated with each driver. This will determine how much compensation each driver could potentially owe.
The Settlement Conference
Since a trial can be costly for all parties involved, it is common to have the settlement conference take place prior to a potential trial. It will be the last chance to resolve a personal injury lawsuit outside of court, where the judgment will be put in the hands of a judge or jury.
The benefit of having a settlement conference is that it gives you power to negotiate with the other parties involved. If you do not feel like the other parties are giving you what you deserve, you can always take the case to court. The downside is that a trial could leave you with nothing in the end. If you do not have a strong case, accepting a low settlement may be your best option.
A personal injury lawyer can help you with negotiating to ensure you get the best deal possible. A lawyer may suggest coming into the conference with a high settlement request, knowing that the other parties will typically want to settle for as little as possible.
Now that you are aware of what happens before a personal injury lawsuit goes to trial, you will have realistic expectations. While the settlement conference and liability investigation could lead to lower compensation, it could save you from a costly trial with unfavorable results.