Do I Have to Go to Court for My Car Accident Case?
The idea of having to go to court is not something most people look forward to. This is still true even if it is your own case against someone who hit you in a car accident. Most people are intimidated or disturbed at the thought of having to go before a judge and deal with being in a courtroom full of people.
For this reason, some people choose not to pursue a claim for their injuries when they are involved in an accident because they do not want to deal with the hassle or the possibility of going to court.
There are a lot of factors that go into every car accident case, but that does not necessarily mean that you will have to go to court. If you are not at fault for your accident but you are injured, you owe it to yourself to file a claim against the at-fault party for compensation. Even if you do have to go to court, you deserve the compensation from the lawsuit to help make you whole again.
What Factors Determine if My Case Goes to Court?
In reality most auto accident cases do not go to court. “In many cases, insurance companies settle out of court and you can receive a settlement relatively quickly,” note Seattle accident lawyers at The Fang Law Firm, “the settlement process varies based on the circumstances of the case, the at-fault party’s defense strategy, the amount of damages you seek, and other issues that may appear along the way.”
Very rarely does an insurance company refuse to settle. In these cases, fault for the accident is difficult to determine, the plaintiff is poorly prepared, or there are other parties involved in the lawsuit. In other words, the better you prepare your case, the less likely it is that it will go to court.
If there is a lot of evidence that supports that the at-fault driver caused the accident and is responsible for your injuries, their insurance company will do everything they have to so that the case does not go to trial. At trial, a judge can not only award financial and emotional damages well in excess of what a settlement offer might be, but they can add on punitive damages for good measure just to teach the at-fault driver a lesson about reckless or negligent behavior.
How Should I Prepare My Case So That it Avoids Going to Trial?
Building a strong case can help maximize your insurance claim and help avoid your case moving to trial. Everything starts with getting prompt treatment for your injuries and documenting everything you can at once. Some injuries may not appear for days or weeks so it is important to stay in constant contact with your doctor and report any new symptoms as they arise.
Documentation of your injuries and your financial losses builds a strong case for compensation. You should also hire a car accident attorney right after your accident to help with filing your claim and putting together evidence. They will also deal with the opposing insurance company, their investigators and all of the ways they will try to undermine your case. Your lawyer can deal with the insurance company and reject any settlement offers they may make in the early stages of building your case. A lawyer can be your advocate while you focus on healing.
Once you have fully prepared your case, including proving the at-fault driver is responsible for your injuries, then your lawyer can contact the liable party to consider settlement negotiations for an amount that is fair in regards to the extent of your injuries and the total damages you have suffered. If the evidence is overwhelming against the at-fault driver, then their insurance company is even more likely to prepare a settlement that is not only fair and just but adequate to meet your needs in the future