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The legal system is known for moving at a glacial pace; it is just a fact of life. More lawsuits are brought today than ever before, and courtrooms are full to the brim with cases big and small.

Whether you have a civil or criminal case – be prepared for a long and sometimes very expensive ordeal. But what takes so long? If there is an issue claim to be paid, there are two ways to make them pay you: they may agree, or a judge and jury order them to pay.

Let’s say the initial negotiation fails, and you’re forced to file a lawsuit. At this point, you’re basically taking a ticket at an ice cream stand to determine your place in line. The line could be a long one depending on the judge you get and how long their docket may be.

In this process, you’ll have discovery; you’ll have motions, depositions and hearings. These processes will let your attorney formulate the evidence and learn what is and is not going to be allowed into the trial as evidence. Ultimately, you have the trial.

After the initial trial is said and done, you have the appeals process. There are different appellate courts and different Supreme courts. Depending on what is decided in the appeals process, you may have to have your case retried.

Insurance companies like the process – it gives them all the time in the world to attempt to negotiate a settlement with you. Oftentimes, they’ll offer you 50-cents on the dollar to avoid the time and expense of a trial.

And if the other side knows you are unable or unwilling to wait through the trial process, it will hamper your claim and you’ll have less leverage going forward. It is not always advisable to go to trial. You have to look at each case and determine if it’s worth it: what is the reasonable risk in holding tight and going through to trial?

If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.

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