When an individual or a member of their family suffers an injury in an accident that was caused by the negligent actions of another person or entity, they have the right to file what is called a personal injury lawsuit or “claim” against them. A personal injury claim will identify how the accident has caused the victim to suffer along with how much they believe they are entitled to recover to compensate them for this. Generally, victims will often seek money for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, loss of consortium, etc. and the amount they request be paid should be determined with input provided by an experienced Jackson, MS personal injury attorney.
Once a personal injury claim is filed and the party recognized as the defendant in the case has been informed they are being sued, they will either attend court on the scheduled hearing date or they have the option of offering a settlement prior to attending court. Unfortunately, this settlement is usually for an amount that is less than what the victim is seeking. The reason many companies and other individuals will offer a settlement is so they can avoid having to appear in court as well as spend money on the fees associated with the court process. Other times, when a party doesn’t feel they are responsible for causing the accident, they will allow the case to run its course and let is play out in court.
When a Settlement is Offered
When the defendant in the case offers a settlement, it should include compensation for the damages the victim is seeking. For example, let’s say an individual was injured after slipping and falling on the defendant’s property and suffered some rather serious injuries. After months of receiving medical care, the victim determined that their medical bills alone amounted to $150,000. Aside from that, they were unable to work and didn’t earn the $25,000 they would have received had they been able to. Between cost for medical care, lost wages, and the pain and suffering which was estimated to be worth $50,000, the total amount requested be paid was $225,000.
Now, as we mentioned, the defendant does have the right to refute certain claims made in the lawsuit, which many often do, resulting in them only offering $150,000, not the $225,000. The plaintiff, which would be the victim, could either accept the settlement, offer a counter, or deny it outright. A negotiation may ensue and if the parties are able to come to an agreement on an amount, the defendant can provide the plaintiff with the amount agreed upon and end the case there. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, the case would then proceed to court and that is where a judge and possibly even a jury can rule on it and determine what the victim should be entitled to recover.
Anytime an individual wishes to file a personal injury lawsuit or help a loved one take legal action of their own, they should retain a personal injury lawyer in Jackson, MS who will ensure they are they asking for a fair amount and help provide evidence that supports why they deserve this amount. Attorney William E. Ballard has been helping victims who have been involved in all types of accidents not only file personal injury lawsuits but also negotiate with the liable party until a favorable outcome can be reached. If you would like to schedule an initial consultation with Ballard Law, PLLC to receive an estimate for your case and become familiar with what steps the state requires you to follow in order to recover this amount, contact us today at 769-572-5111.
Time is of the essence when it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit in MS as the state only allots a victim three years from the date of the injury to take legal recourse [Source: Mississippi Code §15-1-49(1)(2016)]. Therefore, it would be in your best interest to contact our firm today so we can begin working on your case.
Ballard Law, PLLC. can be reached at:
108 S. President Street
Jackson, MS 39201