Do You Have to Go to Court for a Car Accident?

Accident attorney

Being involved in a car accident, whether it's you or someone you care about, can be an incredibly traumatic experience, both physically and emotionally. And when the possibility of going to court looms over you, it only adds more stress to an already difficult situation.

But the question remains: Is going to court for a car accident inevitable? The answer is not a straightforward yes or no, as it depends on a multitude of factors. Regardless of whether you're a victim of the crash or the defendant, having a clear understanding of the legal process can help alleviate your concerns and better prepare you for what lies ahead.

If you find yourself in this predicament, don't hesitate to reach out to Strong Law. Our team of experienced car accident lawyers is ready to provide you with the guidance and information you need regarding legal representation.

Car accidents are a frequent occurrence, yet the majority of cases seldom make their way to court.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were approximately 5.25 million police-reported crashes in the United States in 2020. Given the high number of car accidents, one would expect a flood of court cases related to these incidents each year. However, the reality is quite the opposite.

Car accident settlements fall under the category of personal injury settlements, and statistics indicate that only about 5% of all filed claims are resolved through court proceedings. The vast majority of personal injury claims are actually resolved outside of court. As a result, the chances of your car accident claim going to court are extremely slim.

Why are some car accidents taken to court?

Car accidents may result in legal proceedings for various reasons. Although not all accidents end up in court, certain factors can raise the chances of a case going to trial.

There is a Dispute Over Liability

One of the primary factors that may lead to a car accident going to court is the presence of a dispute regarding liability. In cases where both parties involved in the accident are unable to reach an agreement on the identity of the at-fault driver, a judge or jury will be tasked with making that determination in a court of law. This situation often arises when each party firmly believes that the other is to blame for causing the accident.

The Insurance Company Refuses to Offer a Fair Settlement or Denies the Claim

When it comes to auto accidents, another factor that may result in a court case is the insurance company's refusal to provide a fair settlement or even denying the claim outright. It's important to remember that insurance companies are businesses with the primary objective of minimizing payouts. Consequently, if they believe they can avoid payment or offer a significantly lower settlement, they may choose to do so. In such situations, pursuing legal recourse through the court system may be the only viable option to pursue the rightful compensation you deserve.

There Are Serious Injuries or Fatalities

In cases of serious accident injuries or fatalities, court involvement becomes necessary. These incidents often carry high stakes and involve intricate legal and medical complexities. By going to court, all pertinent evidence is considered, ensuring that justice is served for those who have endured substantial harm.

It is important to recognize the uniqueness of each car accident case, and the decision to pursue legal action depends on the specific circumstances. Seeking guidance from our accident attorneys is crucial in determining the necessity of court proceedings or exploring alternative options, such as insurance negotiations, that may be more suitable.

What occurs if a car accident case proceeds to court?

When a car accident case proceeds to court, it signifies that the parties involved were unable to reach a settlement agreement outside the confines of the courtroom. Although the prospect of appearing in court may seem daunting, having a clear understanding of what to anticipate can alleviate some of the anxiety associated with pursuing legal action.

Going to Court

In a court proceeding, both parties are afforded the opportunity to present their case. This involves the submission of evidence, the calling of expert witnesses, and the cross-examination of the opposing side. The judge or jury will meticulously evaluate the presented evidence and arguments, ultimately rendering a decision regarding the liable party and the appropriate amount of compensation to be awarded.

Throughout the trial, it is imperative to have the representation of a personal injury attorney. They possess the expertise to effectively present your case, skillfully cross-examine expert witnesses, and advocate on your behalf. Additionally, they will ensure that all essential documents and evidence are accurately and promptly submitted.

Reaching a Verdict

Once both sides have presented their arguments, the judge or jury will deliberate and deliver a verdict. If successful, you may receive compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

While going to court can be a lengthier and more adversarial process compared to settling out of court, it may be necessary in certain circumstances. Seeking guidance from a car crash lawyer will help determine the best course of action for your case and ensure protection of your rights throughout the legal process.

How to Avoid Going to Court for a Car Accident

To increase the likelihood of reaching a settlement before resorting to court, consider the following steps:

  1. Comply with the legal requirement by promptly reporting the accident to the police if injuries or property damage exceeding $500 occur.
  2. Capture crucial evidence by taking photographs of the accident scene, your injuries, and the damages sustained by your vehicle immediately after the collision.
  3. Prioritize your well-being by seeking medical attention promptly for your injuries and maintaining detailed medical records.
  4. Keep meticulous records of both non-economic and economic damages, including medical bills, vehicle repair costs, and other relevant expenses.
  5. Seek guidance from a proficient car accident lawyer at the earliest opportunity.
  6. Refrain from apologizing, admitting fault, or providing any statements to the other driver's insurance company until after consulting with a lawyer.

By constructing a strong case, you enhance your prospects of securing a fair settlement from the insurance company. Additionally, the involvement of an experienced attorney demonstrates your determination to protect your legal rights and reinforces your position to the insurer.

Don’t Wait to File a Claim

It is important to promptly file your claim without hesitation. While we advise against rushing, it is crucial not to delay until the last minute. In many states the statute of limitations is only two years, and waiting longer will make it increasingly challenging to swiftly settle your insurance claim. Avoid getting entangled in a lengthy legal battle by taking the initiative and consulting with one of our lawyers today.

Get a Free, No-Obligation Case Consultation with Our Car Accident Lawyers

Whether your car accident lawsuit is resolved through a settlement or proceeds to trial, our dedicated car accident lawyers at Strong Law are fully prepared to guide you every step of the way. We fearlessly advocate for you, holding the responsible party accountable and securing the financial compensation you deserve for your damages or injuries.

With over a decade of experience, our personal injury lawyers have been steadfastly assisting clients. Rest assured, working with us is entirely risk-free as we operate on a contingency fee basis. You only pay if we win your case. Contact us today or schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation for your personal injury lawsuit.