If you suffer injuries from a car accident, you are entitled to seek financial compensation from the negligent driver.
However, what if the insurance company denies your claim? You can file a personal injury lawsuit in court. Are there any alternative ways to recover your compensation?
Alternatives to Filing a Lawsuit in Court
Filing a lawsuit is perhaps the last thing you have in mind. What are the alternatives? One way to resolve a dispute is through a trained mediator. The mediator talks to both parties and attempts to arrange a pre-trial settlement. Our Chicago car accident lawyer can give you assistance with out-of-court settlements. If the mediator fails to resolve the dispute, you can opt for arbitration, a pre-trial procedure in which an arbitrator hears the evidence and decides the dispute in a judge-like manner. But this process works only if both you and the other party agree to an arbitrator’s decision.
Going to Court
If the compensation amount you are claiming is small, you have the option to file a claim in small claims court. These types of cases do not require producing a lot of evidence or completing a lot of formalities, so such cases are usually resolved faster. However, small claims courts generally do not accept cases where the claim amount is more than $5,000. If the compensation amount you are trying to recover is more than $5,000, you will need to file the case in your state’s regular civil court. Unfortunately, it takes more time and money to win a lawsuit in a civil court. If you file your case in a civil court, you will attend a pre-trial session, also known as discovery. During this phase, the two parties interact and get a chance to know each other’s arguments. Then there is the trial phase. There could be an appeal after the trial as well.
Is It a Good Idea to Represent Yourself in Court?
Even though you are not required to have the support of a lawyer, it is advisable to retain a lawyer. Court cases are governed by formal rules of procedure and evidence. An experienced Chicago car accident lawyer can give you the best guidance and assistance. Contact Willens & Baez at (312) 957-4166 for legal guidance.