After a car crash, you may experience a lot of stress. You’ll be trying to manage the pain from your injuries, dealing with the insurance companies, and possibly wondering if you need to go to court to recover your damages.
The at-fault driver should be held accountable for their actions. They should be made to pay your compensation. The good news is that you don’t have to go to court to get what you’re owed in most cases, though there are circumstances in which it may be inevitable.
While the thought of going to court can be overwhelming and stressful for many, there is some good news.
According to this law firm, the majority of car accident injury claims will be settled outside of the courtroom. While the chances of having to endure a trial are significantly low, you should know more about the reasons why some car accident cases wind up making it all the way to trial.
Reasons You May Need to Go to Court for a Car Accident
In all likelihood, you probably won’t need to worry about appearing in court to recover your damages from the car accident. However, it always helps to have a personal injury attorney working on your case. They can likely negotiate a better settlement on your behalf. Should the need for going to trial arise, they will represent you all the way.
Here are the most common reasons car accident cases wind up in court.
The Insurance Company Refused to Settle
Following your car accident, you may have major medical bills for your injuries, property damages, lost wages, future medical costs, pain and suffering, and mental anguish that all deserve compensation. Insurance companies will almost always try to offer the lowest amount possible to injury victims. Often, that amount is insufficient to cover those damages.
Your attorney can negotiate with them based on the damages they’ve calculated for your economic and non-economic damages. It may take some time, but attorneys can usually get their clients a much better offer.
However, in some cases, no agreement can be reached. Your attorney will then prepare to move things to trial to let a judge or jury decide what is fair.
The At-Fault Driver Isn’t Insured
Another reason you may wind up in the courtroom to recover your car accident damages is if the at-fault driver is uninsured. You’ll certainly want an attorney on the case if this is your situation.
One big problem with negligent drivers who lack auto insurance is that they likely don’t have the money to pay for your damages. After all, they’re driving around without the insurance they should have on their vehicle. On the bright side, taking them to court will likely result in punishment for their actions.
There also may be other avenues to pursue compensation, like punitive damages. Your lawyer can give you a full briefing on your options and help you decide the best course of action.
Steps to Take Before Going to Court for a Car Accident Case
While insurance companies typically have a legal team at their disposal, they dislike going to court for personal injury cases. If you win the case, they must pay the amount the judge or jury believe you deserve and your court fees. When you’re working with a reputable lawyer who has built a strong evidence-based case on your behalf, the insurance company will likely do everything it can to avoid heading to court.
Having a personal injury attorney is a huge asset in your situation. Simply being prepared to go to trial at any time may be enough to get the insurance company to offer a fair settlement.
Before things even get that far, though, there will be discovery, pre-trial periods, and opportunities to negotiate. The odds are in your favor that you’ll receive a settlement out of court. Your attorney will advise you on whether or not they feel it is sufficient.
Remember, car accident attorneys know how much your injuries and damages are worth. They can calculate the cost of your ongoing medical care, how much money you missed out on by being unable to work, and the agony of life-altering injuries that can interfere with your livelihood. If the settlement syncs up with their calculations, you can accept it and move forward with your life.