Do Most Car Accident Cases Go to Court?
Most car accident cases do not go to court, according to the American Bar Association (ABA). Many car accident claimants are able to get the coverage they need through out-of-court negotiations. However, just because your car accident case does not go to court does not mean that the financial recovery process will go smoothly. You may experience difficulty getting a fair settlement or identifying the liable party.
The outcome of your personal injury case will rest on the many details of your situation. You may choose to partner with a car accident attorney who can address the obstacles that may be present in your case.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Handle the Negotiation Proceedings
Before your case goes to court, you will have the chance to negotiate for an insurance settlement. You can either negotiate on your own behalf or hire a lawyer to do it for you. One of the things to keep in mind during this process is that the liable insurance company does not work for you. They may resort to certain strategies that work to either discredit or undervalue the cost of your damages.
Yet, when you work with a car accident lawyer, they can approach the liable insurer with a value the represents your out-of-pocket expenses. Additionally, they can present evidence that demonstrates the physical, emotional, and financial impact of the accident.
Some evidence that could work to promote a just outcome includes:
- The police report
- Your medical records
- Property damage receipts
- Eyewitness statements
- Photos and videos of the accident scene
- Surveillance footage
If you were hit by a commercial vehicle, you may also be able to use the vehicle’s maintenance records or driver complaints as evidence. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires these companies to test and maintain their vehicles on a regular basis and to have all issues repaired as quickly as possible. By providing evidence of the liable party’s negligence, you can work to assert the validity of your claim to the insurance company.
During negotiations, the insurance company may offer you a settlement. It may or may not include everything you asked for. You can decide to take the money or keep negotiating for a higher amount. But if negotiations come to a standstill, you may need to file a lawsuit to get the money you need.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Take Your Case to Trial
If you decide not to work with a lawyer, then it is your responsibility to file your lawsuit, schedule a court date, locate witnesses to testify on your behalf, submit evidence in a timely manner, and behave appropriately in the courtroom. Your ultimate goal is to convince a judge that your damages merit the compensation you are requesting. However, without the help of a lawyer, bringing a case to court can quickly become a stressful experience.
Standing up for yourself in front of a judge and jury can be nerve-wracking, even under the best of circumstances. If you are still recovering from a car accident and do not have a legal background, you may face many challenges throughout the development of your personal injury case. For this reason alone, you may want to consider working with a lawyer, regardless of whether or not your car accident case goes to court.
What Your Lawyer Will Do
Whether you go to trial or not, a lawyer can be a helpful asset. They can apply their legal experience to your situation and prepare a case on your behalf.
A lawyer can handle all of the responsibilities involved in submitting an insurance claim or lawsuit, while also calculating the cost of your incurred damages. This can ultimately spare you the stress of having to serve as your own legal advocate.
You have a limited timeframe to file a car accident lawsuit. Per Code of Virginia §8.01-243, you typically have a two-year period to bring your case to court. The statute of limitations is the same for wrongful death lawsuits, as stated in the Code of Virginia §8.01-244. You do not want time to run out on your ability to file a lawsuit. You may want to consider taking prompt legal action.
Call the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC
The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC can represent your interests throughout the financial recovery process. Our goal is to help you and your loved ones recover compensation for your car accident-related expenses. After reviewing your case, we can explain whether going to court would be a feasible option.
Call our team so we can start fighting for you.