Can I See My Personal Injury File in Nashville, Tennessee?
Whether it's a slip and fall, a car accident, a work accident, or some other phenomenon that causes a personal injury, such occurrences can turn lives upside down. In a car accident, for example, victims can find themselves on the receiving end of catastrophic injuries that will change the way they live. They may not be able to work, play with their children, or fulfill their marital obligations.
In some cases, a car accident victim will suffer a fatal injury. A car accident settlement will usually be the objective of a claim and personal injury lawyers intend to help victims or their families collect fair compensation.
One of the questions that will surround this process concerns the amount of personal information that is available following car accidents that lead to claims. Is it possible for someone to pull their personal injury claim records? What about other members of the public? Should this be a concern? All this and more is tackled below.
The Public Record Concern
It's surprising to many to learn the sheer amount of personal information out there. By going through public record databases, it's possible to gain a wealth of knowledge about people and incidents. Some of these records include criminal history, marriage certificates, and more.
Of course, many of these pieces of data only become a part of the public record when certain occurrences happen and personal injury cases fall under that umbrella. Both government agencies and courts do public record database document filing.
Therefore, when a car accident case is tried, any information related to the case becomes public record. This can include medical records, the settlement offer presented and accepted, transcripts of testimonies, alongside other intimate details.
As you realize though, this will only occur when accident victims have to take their case to trial, so the real concern here is if your case is going to go to trial or it will be settled without needing to get there.
The Real Question Is More About the Personal Injury Claim Going to Court
Now that the distinction is made, there will be questions surrounding the likelihood of a trial. Realistically, most personal injury claims will be settled without trial coming into the picture, which is good statistically for those who may want to avoid certain details being in the public record.
Under normal circumstances, it is when a fair settlement for the injured party cannot be reached that the matter will be handled as a civil case in court.
What Becomes Public Record When a Personal Injury Case Ends Up in Court?
Using car accident trials as an example, just about every detail you can think of will become public record. This includes but is not limited to:
Names, birthdates, addresses, and other personal details about the plaintiff and defendant
Police records of the incident
Transcripts including whatever arguments were presented by either side
In-depth descriptions of the injuries suffered, alongside medical bills and treatment administered
What dollar amount was awarded to the victorious party
Is It a Better Idea to Avoid Getting to the Trial Stage with a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In thinking about the confidentiality side of things, this is a question that will often come up. Is it better to settle things before trial, regardless of the fairness of the settlement? After all, this will mean that the worries about certain details becoming public knowledge wouldn't need to be a concern.
Diving into a Few of the Key Benefits
To be fair, there is more than one benefit to going about things this way, and this is a good time to explore them a bit.
The trial system has a series of established processes and requirements. Sometimes, proceedings will span multiple hearings, and even outside of that happening, it can take quite a while for the case to be wrapped up and the verdict handed down for the settlement payment element to begin.
As you can imagine, if the matter were to be settled outside of court, then all of those extras wouldn't need to happen. Therefore, getting to the settlement will be much quicker, when compared to the time it would take to go to trial.
Bear in mind that while some trials can take months, which is bad enough, others can go on for years. Many injury victims are not keen on waiting for that kind of time to elapse.
There are going to be different fees associated with taking a case to court, and they can begin to stack up very quickly. The idea with most personal injury claims is that lawyers will take them on a contingency fee basis. In other words, there's no payment unless a victory is secured by the victim and the said payment will be a percentage of what is won.
However, there may be cases where it's simply not worth it because the court and attorney fees involved would surpass whatever settlement amount would be received.
Keeping Personal Details Confidential
This is one of the big ones, which is most pertinent to the matter being discussed here. By settling the matter out of court, it becomes possible to keep certain personal information private. While some people genuinely don't care one way or the other, there are other people who would like their information out of the public eye.
There Are Cases in Which Personal Injury Claims Are Best Handled in Court
Even considering all that has been said so far, there are instances in which it's actually better to take the case to court based on the results that may be achievable by doing so.
When an accident happens, the victim will be looking to be compensated for certain obvious damages. For example, after a car accident, getting compensation for medical treatment and lost wages may be obvious. However, when serious injuries occur, what about the pain and suffering, alongside other potential damages that can't be easily valued using financial documentation?
The true fair value of a personal injury claim will include these things where applicable and settling outside of court may create circumstances in which getting these damages is not possible. With the assistance of a seasoned attorney, it becomes possible to fight in court for the true extent of compensation that should be received. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also help advise on if you should choose a structured settlement.
Getting a Fair Settlement Offer for Hidden Damages
This is an offshoot from the previous point. While elements such as pain and suffering are present but hard to value, settling early will often create a situation where there are hidden elements to come that have not been factored in.
For example, to what extent does this accident and the resulting injuries affect the victim throughout life? Sometimes, the best way to get these things factored into the compensation amount is to go to trial.
Why Is It a Good Idea to Get an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Your Corner?
Relying on an experienced attorney from a reputable law firm is always recommended when approaching accident settlement scenarios. Why is this? In addition to giving information on questions like does a no-fault claim guarantee a settlement, here are a couple of reasons.
Insurance Company Battles
Regardless of what you may think, insurance companies are not loyal to victims. They want to minimize the amount they must payout as much as possible. An attorney is there to thwart the attempts of these firms to circumvent the financial responsibility that they have following accidents.
This goes without saying, but there are a ton of legalities involved in the claims process. This will require knowledge of proceedings, as well as the different laws that apply to the situation and how to use them. Thanks to training and relevant experience, a good lawyer can provide these in spades.
Settlement talks are not straightforward. There may be offers, counteroffers, and other elements, as either party tries to move the proverbial needle closer to its corner. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Nashville TN can take charge of these negotiations, present evidence, explain the victim's position, and defend against arguments intended to reduce compensation.
Bringing in the Network
Good attorneys are not alone. They have a network of people and resources that they can lean on for discovery, cross-examination, and more that are valuable to the case.
Of course, if the matter does go to trial, then an attorney will represent the victim to secure the settlement expected.
What Might Your Chances Look Like without the Expertise of Personal Injury Attorneys?
A personal injury victim is free to try to take on the claims process without an attorney, but doing so will most likely not produce the intended result. Some of the risks associated with going this route are:
Compromising physical and mental health from stress
Higher likelihood of low or no compensation
Falling into traps laid by insurance companies.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Compassionate Nashville Personal Injury Attorney Today!
Sure, the fact that you and others can access the details of your personal injury case if it's tried in court can be intimidating, but there may be benefits to going this route.
Lean on the expertise of a passionate Nashville attorney who is willing to go to war for you! Schedule a free consultation today by calling Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys!