This is a book that explains personal injury law in conversational English. This is not a textbook for a law school, but rather an introduction to civil litigation for actual litigants. Every attempt has been made to avoid “legalese” so people with little or no legal training can understand it. No one plans or expects to be in court on a personal injury case. Then out of nowhere, life happens. The entire process can be very confusing for the uninitiated. It is my hope to pull back the curtain, so to speak, so people will not be intimidated if they find themselves thrust into, what appears to be, the very hostile environment of litigation. Most cases are settled before trial. That said, when the other side will not be reasonable, you will find yourself in front of twelve citizens “fair and true.” Keep in mind that “fair” is a relative term. One person’s justice is another person’s atrocity. For that reason alone, an understanding of effective litigation is crucial. It has been my experience that the public at large has no real understanding of how to resolve a lawsuit. They hear things, see things, and read things that create a belief system as to how the system works. It starts with “make a ridiculous demand and then stand on it.” My favorite is “once you make a demand, they will settle. They can’t afford the publicity of a trial.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Litigation is controlled exclusively by the insurance carrier. They do not care one wit about what publicity will do to their insured. They just want to get out paying as little as possible and they are never afraid to litigate. They employ an army of lawyers for that very purpose. It seems Google has made everyone a lawyer. I know this because a lot of my time is spent convincing my clients the blogger they thought was brilliant is just flat wrong. Clear your mind of so called “conventional wisdom” for a moment and read the following pages with an open mind. I am happy to take the mystery out of civil litigation in the personal injury arena so you can approach it in such a way as to maximize your recovery. Remember, the right to trial by jury is protected by the Constitution of the United States.