Your Injury Claim Was Rejected—Will You Have to Sue?

The prospect of going to court to try to win a judgment in an injury case can seem daunting. If an insurance company has already rejected your claim, though, it may be necessary for you to file a lawsuit. Take a look at how a personal injury lawyer will try to address the situation.

Review the Insurance Company's Rejection Letter

For an attorney, the first order of business will be to determine whether there might be a problem with the logic behind the rejection. An insurer will rarely reverse court because a claim adjuster has already investigated the case by the time a rejection letter goes out. However, even if the rejection doesn't seem reversible, the argument for the rejection may fuel an eventual lawsuit.

A personal injury lawyer will also look at whether there might be other options. For example, there might be another potential defendant that could be liable. Be aware, though, that the most likely scenario by far is that you'll sue the original defendant.

Making Your Concerns Clear

If there is an argument for the insurer to review the case, your attorney will send a letter explaining that there is a problem. Usually, this sort of letter will include some indication of a willingness to sue if things can't be resolved. However, the insurer is under no obligation to further review the matter, and they can just ignore the letter.

The Suing Process

Starting a lawsuit is a very formalized process in American law. Acting on counsel's personal injury legal advice, you will have to submit paperwork to the appropriate court. The jurisdiction in the vast majority of injury cases is based on where the incident occurred. When your lawyer sends the paperwork to the court, they'll also have to send an exact copy of the plea to the defendant.

Will You Head to Trial?

There's still time at this stage to settle. A judge will review the case, and both sides will make motions. It's common for the defense to ask the court to dismiss the case and for the plaintiff's attorney to ask for a summary judgment in their favor.

These are usually rejected, and the judge then orders discovery. You will be able to demand the production of any evidence the defense might have. For example, someone who suffered a slip-and-fall incident at a store can demand the discovery of surveillance videos and maintenance logs. The defense might think better of settling once the evidence is out. If not, then the matter will likely have to go to trial.