Frequently, settlement negotiations are unsuccessful unless suit is filed, and the insurance company is made fully aware that you are serious in pursuing your claim to a just conclusion, by jury trial if necessary. At other times, we know from our experience with certain types of cases, or experience with certain insurance companies, that it is better just to file suit at the very outset after investigation rather than waste time conducting meaningless settlement negotiations.
In the event settlement negotiations are not productive, we generally will file suit on your behalf without further consultation with you. To do this, we draft a formal legal paper called a Petition or Complaint and file it with the appropriate court. The particular court in which suit is filed depends upon a complex set of rules known as venue. In some instances we have a choice of venue, and obviously we will pick the court which is most advantageous to the presentation of the particular facts of your claim.
After your suit is filed in the courthouse, a process server or deputy personally delivers copies of the suit papers to the wrongdoer, who is known as the defendant. The defendant then forwards these papers to the appropriate liability insurance company, which in turn obtains a lawyer to defend the case. The defense attorney will file formal papers in court entering his appearance and responding to the claim that we file. Insurance company lawyers usually deny that you have a valid legal reason to be compensated for your injuries or will assert numerous defenses to eliminate or reduce the responsibility of their particular client.