“Will My Bicycle-Accident Case Require Litigation?”
I am often asked by prospective clients whether their case will require litigation. The answer depends on the specific facts of each individual case, but generally the answer is “no.”
If the insurance company and you/your lawyer cannot agree upon the value of your case, it may be necessary to begin a lawsuit. This is also referred to as litigation. The lawsuit will usually be brought against the person, persons, or company who caused your injuries and not against the insurance company unless the case is an uninsured or underinsured motorist case.
In some cases, your lawyer(s) may suggest waiting a period of time before commencing the lawsuit in the hope that the insurance company will increase its evaluation of your claim. However, in cases where the parties are significantly far apart with respect to the value of a claim, litigation is usually necessary.
“What factors would cause my case to go to litigation?”
There are usually several reasons why a case does not settle including the following:
a. The insurance company believes that you and your lawyer have asked for more money than they are willing to pay voluntarily for the claim.
b. Liability, that is, “fault,” is either being denied by the insurance company or the insurance company believes that you and/or some other party bear some responsibility for your own injuries.
c. The insurance company, because of internal reasons or company policy, resists payment of your claim and is forcing claimants to go through the trouble of a lawsuit.
d. The insurance company is stalling for time hoping that you and your lawyer will reduce your value of the claim.
e. The insurance company does not believe that you were injured, or does not believe that you were injured as badly as you claim. Therefore, the company is requiring that you pursue a lawsuit to prove your injuries.