1. What happens to the person, persons or company who caused my injury?
After the incident which caused your injury, the person, persons or company that you claim may be responsible for your injury was contacted by the insurance company. Either the person who caused your injury or a representative of the company who caused your injury gave statements and reports to the appropriate insurance claims adjuster. Such statements and reports were probably recorded and there are most likely written reports or transcripts of such statements.
After the insurance company’s initial investigation, there is usually little or no contact between the tortfeasors (the person, persons, or company who caused your injury) and the insurance company. In other words, the insurance representative usually does not keep the insured advised about day to day progress in the case. An exception may be medical malpractice cases. Therefore, the person, persons or company who caused your injury is probably going on with their daily lives, hopeful that the case will simply be settled by the insurance company with little or no involvement on their part.
2. What happens to the person who caused my injury if the case does not settle?
If the case does not settle between you, your lawyer and the insurance company and proceeds to litigation (lawsuit), the insurance carrier will again contact the insured. An attorney hired by the insurance company will be assigned to defend and represent the tortfeasor, whether the tortfeasor is a person, persons or company. The insured will be required to participate in the litigation process and will be required to cooperate with the attorney assigned.
It is important to remember that if a lawsuit becomes necessary, it will be brought against the tortfeasor and not against the insurance carrier, even though the insurance carrier will probably be the one to pay the settlement or verdict.
3. What if the tortfeasor was untruthful or not accurate about how the incident happened?
Unfortunately, in many cases, the person or persons responsible for the incident may not tell the complete truth about the incident. It is human nature for many people to deny liability, fault or blame even in cases where negligence or wrong‑doing was obvious. Your lawyer has had many cases where the tortfeasors did not tell the truth about the incident. In some cases, the insurance carrier will believe their insured or the insured’s witnesses and will deny your claim. In such cases a lawsuit becomes necessary and the case will proceed to litigation and sometimes all the way to trial.
In most cases, however, the truth eventually surfaces and the claim will get settled one way or the other. Your lawyer will investigate your claim in the hope of obtaining witnesses, evidence, facts and law that support the truth of how the incident happened.
4. Can I contact the person or persons who are responsible for my injuries?
Again, absolutely not! If you contact the person or persons responsible, you could jeopardize settlement of your case. Remember that any statement you make, even an innocent comment, could be used against you or misinterpreted. It is not appropriate for you to contact the tortfeasor even if the tortfeasor has not told the truth about how the incident occurred.