After being in a car accident or other type of motor vehicle accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries and losses. However, sometimes getting the compensation you need and deserve isn’t so easy. This is why some cases end up in court. Although you might assume that every legal claim eventually winds up in court, it may surprise you to know that the vast majority of cases settle outside of the courtroom—which is especially true of legal claims arising from traffic accidents.
So how will you know if your case will settle or go to trial? Our law firm has put together this article to educate you about the differences between settling a car accident claim and taking a case to trial in civil court.
Why Cases Settle
For several reasons, it will be desirable to settle your claim out of court. Some of these reasons include:
- Less costly. Settling a legal case can cost you less money. It can cost a lot more money to take a case to trial due to the court fees, additional lawyer fees, and even fees for expert testimonies and other various charges. By settling, you can avoid these additional costs.
- Less time. Settling a case outside the courtroom can go faster because going to trial requires getting a court date that may be months or even a year away. Once a lawsuit is filed, there are steps that have to be completed from interrogatories to depositions and other fact-finding steps that can consume a lot of time. Although some settlement negotiations can take a while, settling a case always takes less time than going to court.
- Faster pay. Because getting a trial date can take a long time, settling a case will help victims get their money a whole lot sooner than if they waited to see if they won at trial. Because many people need money to cover their bills and other losses related to the accident, they often opt for a settlement in order to get paid faster.
Settlements are negotiated between the parties, even before a lawsuit is filed; however, sometimes lawsuits have to be filed in order for the other side to know you are serious. After a lawsuit is filed, the other side might agree to a certain financial recovery or they might refuse. If the other side is denying you compensation or not providing adequate compensation, your lawyer should take your case to court.
Why Cases Go to Trial
If it is in your best interest, a good personal injury attorney will be willing to take your case to trial. Some factors that might force a trial include:
- Other side is fighting tooth and nail. When the insurance company isn’t willing to provide you with compensation for your injuries and losses, they will deny your claim or keep pointing the finger at you in order to limit their liability and ruin your claim. If an attorney believes you have a solid case and the insurer is being unreasonable, your lawyer will take your case to trial and let a jury decide.
- Can’t agree on a fair financial recovery. If your attorney thinks your case is strong and may be worth a lot more than what the insurance company is offering you, he or she will recommend that you take your case to trial. Cases that go to court oftentimes end up receiving more money than what the insurance company is willing to provide.
Although most car accident claims are settled outside of the courtroom, it is sometimes necessary to take cases to trial. Your attorney will be able to help your determine if your case is worth more than the insurance company is offering you. For help negotiating your case or taking your case to court, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Let Shevlin Smith Help You Get The Compensation You Deserve
At Shevlin Smith, an experienced attorney will listen to your case, answer your questions, and be able to help you establish a strong case so that you can get the maximum compensation possible—whether through settlement or trial. We would be honored to speak with you and help you get the compensation you need and deserve. Please feel free to call our office for a free, no-obligation consultation at (703) 721-4233.