How long a person must wait to get compensation after a Spokane car accidents often depends on the nature and extent of the person’s injuries coupled with which insurance company is on the other side of the case. If it’s an insurance company that exclusively covers drivers for minimum policy limits, our experience tells us that it’s going to take longer than with a more reputable company.
The Claim Stage
When there’s a reputable insurance company on the other side of a case, some car accident injury victims decide to have us bring a claim on their behalf before filing an actual lawsuit. That’s when the attorney deals directly with the opposing insurance company without the burden and expense of actual litigation. The claims process can be faster and less expensive than litigation. A fair and reasonable settlement might be reached in months rather than years. Jurors can be unpredictable, so remember that a good settlement is always better than a bad verdict.
The Arbitration Stage
Personal injury cases in excess of $5,000 and up to $100,000 will be sent to mandatory arbitration beginning September 1, 2018. In order to expedite cases, a streamlined procedural process will be allowed along with relaxed rules of evidence. They’re intended to serve the purpose of alleviating court congestion and “reducing the delay in hearing civil cases.” A person claiming injury as a result of the negligence of somebody else can expect an arbitration hearing within eight months to a year of filing his or her lawsuit.
Mandatory arbitration might seem to strip a litigant of his or her right to a jury trial, but the State of Washington has preserved that right. Either party can reject an arbitration decision upon timely filing, notification and payment of the appropriate fee. For the court’s purported purpose of alleviating court congestion, parties need to think twice about rejecting arbitration awards. Attorney fees and court costs are likely to be assessed upon a party who requests a trial but doesn’t improve on the arbitration award. Pursuant to statute, the clerk must seal the arbitration award in order to give the illusion that no arbitration proceeding has been heard, regardless of the fact that the attorneys on both sides of the case are well able to infer that one has occurred.
Trial Time on Rejections
If an arbitration award is rejected, the case is ordinarily set for trial about three months later. Of course, continuances might be granted for just cause, but judges and court administrators want rejected arbitration awards either settled or tried and off of court calls as soon as possible.
Contact a Spokane Car Accident Lawyer
A litigant, an attorney for one of the parties or even a judge might suffer serious injuries in an accident or become seriously ill. Court administrators might not be able to squeeze in a previously scheduled trial date either. These events can cause delays in the litigation process. When we represent clients in personal injury cases, it’s impossible for us to predict the future, regardless of court ordered deadlines. As Spokane car accident lawyers, we can assure you that our objective is to abide by court scheduling and obtain maximum compensation for our clients in as short of a time as possible. Take advantage of our offer of a free consultation and case review with us. We’ll be able to discuss the issues in your case and provide you with a time frame of when we might obtain compensation for you.