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An understanding of the process used for filing a personal injury claim can help to guarantee acquisition of a fair compensation. That fact becomes especially true if the victim/claimant was hurt as the result of a rear-end accident.

What must the claimant prove?

• That the driver was at-fault.
• That the accident caused the claimant to sustain injuries, damage to property and loss of income.

Factors that can allow case to be settled before the filing of a lawsuit:

• Claimant sustained only minor injuries, or injuries that would not get worse.
• Victim/claimant had no pre-existing conditions.
• No other person had been identified as being wholly or partly responsible for the accident.
• The at-fault driver had insurance.
• If all of the above factors are present, the claimant can sign a release in 30-90 days, and then expect arrival of the settlement check.
• If one factor were missing, the claimant’s best move would involve filing a personal injury lawsuit.

What might happen after the lawsuit has been filed?

• Relevant information gets gathered by parties on both sides of dispute.
• A discovery session is held; witnesses get interrogated.
• Clarification of some facts helps to resolve some of the questions that had helped to fuel the dispute.
• Claimant has chance to produce the required proofs. If those have not been produced, the defendant has the right to ask that the case be dismissed.
• The judge decides whether or not the case should be dismissed. If there a dismissal has not been granted, the defendant might feel inclined to settle.

What happens if the case has not been settled?

The process moves on to the alternative dispute resolution (ADR). During the ADR a mediator meets with the lawyer representing each party. The mediator tries to encourage the creation of an agreement between the 2 sides. Roughly 97% of the cases end by this point, if not earlier in the process.

Note that the filing of a lawsuit does not mean that the claimant has insisted on meeting the defendant in a courtroom. Instead, that action works to create a series of situations in which it should prove easy for the 2 sides to settle. Consequently, only 3% of the cases go to trial.

Even after the trial has started, the 2 parties have not put a damper on any chance for a settlement. The judge stands ready to halt the trial proceedings at any time, if the disputing parties have chosen to settle. The judge does not insist on proceeding to the point where the jury issues its verdict.

True, the injury lawyers in St John’s are eager to win. Still, each of them must respect the desires of the judge, who appreciates the wisdom behind granting a fair compensation.