No, most car accident cases do not go to court. Most car accident cases end with a settlement, but that does not make obtaining a fair settlement easy. Insurance companies and other liable parties often work hard to pay as little as possible. You need an effective car accident lawyer to secure the settlement you deserve.
You may need to go to trial, especially when liable parties do not negotiate in good faith. When seeking a lawyer to lead your car accident case, find a firm with a proven track record of winning at trial.
Car accidents and civil cases tend to settle more generally for several reasons.
Settlements are the most common outcome in civil cases because:
Yet, with these compelling reasons for all sides to reach a settlement, some car accident cases still go to trial. Why?
A car accident case typically goes to court when representatives for the plaintiff and the liable party cannot agree to a fair settlement.
The two sides may not agree on a fair compensation package because of:
Negotiations may go most smoothly when:
Even with these conditions, obtaining a fair financial recovery is never easy. Having an experienced lawyer negotiating on your behalf can lead to the settlement you deserve.
Before a trial begins, a judge may encourage both sides to negotiate one last time. Both parties may have gone through the discovery process and know entirely about the other side’s case. Knowing the evidence and testimony the other side will use can motivate settling.
If a trial happens, your attorney will:
If your lawyer succeeds, the jury will award you a sum that covers or exceeds your recoverable damages.
You have the final say in your lawsuit. As your attorney negotiates with liable parties, they should inform you whenever a settlement offer emerges. Your attorney will advise you on whether the offer is fair and whether you should accept or reject it.
If you trust your lawyer, you may follow their advice. If settlement negotiations do not produce a fair offer, and your lawyer feels your case will succeed in court, you may give them the green light to go to trial.
A trial is relatively rare, but a law firm should never be caught off guard when a case leads to the courtroom. A car accident lawyer should prepare every case as if it will go to trial. This way, if a car accident case does require a trial, the firm won’t miss a beat.
Building a trial-ready case means:
Strong evidence makes for a strong case.
Your attorney will seek any evidence that benefits your case, which may include:
Your lawyer will also identify any evidence that can work against your case. They will prepare a defense for any such evidence.
Your attorney will document your damages to prove the harm you suffered from the collision. Medical bills, images of your injuries, past income statements, expert testimony, and invoices for property expenses can all be important documentation in your case.
Every car accident victim has a different injury profile and psychological response to an accident. Property expenses can also vary significantly between car accident cases. Your attorney will personally investigate your damages and determine how much compensation you deserve.
Calculating non-economic damages can be difficult. After all, what price do you place on traumatic memories or lost quality of life?
Car accident lawyers know how to calculate these damages and may use either the multiplier or per-diem calculation methods. You can trust that a lawyer will have systems to ensure the accuracy of your settlement calculation.
Your car accident lawyer will negotiate a settlement with the liable insurance company, which may involve:
Your lawyer should stand behind their calculation of your damages. If you hire a law firm with a history of case results and a strong reputation, you can rest assured that they will negotiate tirelessly on your behalf.
Insurance companies aim to pay out as little as possible, no matter whether a claim is small, average, or large.
The financial model of insurance calls for insurance companies to fight claims, and an auto insurer may:
Your lawyer will address any challenges an insurance company puts in their way. Car accident attorneys understand and can prepare to counter insurers’ bad-faith tactics.
Your law firm must prepare to pivot from settlement negotiations to a trial. Your lawyer can continue negotiating a settlement with a liable insurance company even once the trial begins.
Several damages are common to car accident cases, and your lawyer will seek fair compensation for both your economic and non-economic damages. Your lawyer will consider:
Your attorney will calculate the cost of all your accident-related medical expenses. From the moment of your accident until the day you complete rehab (if that day will come), your lawyer will maintain a record of your injuries and medical care.
If you have a disabling injury that won’t heal, your attorney will consult medical professionals about future care costs.
When an accident victim cannot work after their collision, they may lose:
Professional harm can contribute to financial and psychological stress, and your lawyer will gauge the full scope of your professional damages.
Property expenses from a car accident can include:
The most severe car accidents result in a victim’s tragic passing.
These cases cause immense harm to surviving loved ones, who may face:
For many surviving loved ones, a wrongful death lawsuit is the only way of pursuing justice. Even if someone (such as a drunk driver) faces criminal charges for a fatal accident, surviving loved ones have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
You will likely face a filing deadline for a car accident lawsuit, so your attorney will work to file your claim as soon as possible. However, a personal injury lawyer can’t do anything for you until you call them. Don’t wait to find the right law firm to lead your car accident case and set up your initial consultation. Doing so can give you immediate peace of mind.
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