No, most car accident cases do not go to trial and some do not even need to be filed in court. Instead, most civil cases, including car accident cases, settle before trial becomes a necessary alternative. However, some car accident cases do go to court, and yours may as well.
What Determines If a Car Accident Case Goes to Court?
The most basic factor in whether a car accident case is litigated or eventually goes to trial is whether the liable parties agree to compensate the victim fairly. If defendants in a car accident case are willing to settle fairly, then litigation or trial may not be necessary.
Other factors can determine if a car accident case needs to be filed in court our tried. However, if a settlement is possible, defendants and plaintiffs usually both prefer it. Settling is less costly and complicated than trial, which explains why settlements are more common than civil trials.
A Case that Goes to Court May Still Settle
Even if your case requires litigation, it will still likely settle before trial is required. Often times in more substantial cases, some litigation can be necessary to prove parts of the case before a reasonable negotiation can occur to reach a settlement.
Your attorney can discuss case strategy with you. They may explain the merits of settling before litigation, litigating or going to trial based on your unique circumstances.
What Damages Do Car Accident Victims Seek Compensation For?
This depends on the particular damages that the victim has suffered.
Variou types of damages can result from a car accident, including:
- Medical expenses, including but not limited to imaging, emergency transportation, hospitalization, doctor visits, and all other accident-related medical services.
- Pain and suffering, which can include emotional distress, physical pain, lost quality of life, and disfigurement.
- Damage to your vehicle, as well as damage to any other personal property present during your accident
- Lost income, which may include wages or salary, lost earning power, lost bonuses and promotions, and lost benefits.
Not all cases will involve the same damages. A lawyer will identify every loss you’ve suffered, determine their value, and propose a reasonable case value.
How Much Is a Car Accident Case Worth?
The value of a case depends on the circumstances of the case. Since not all crashes and the resulting injuries are exactly the same, each case must be looked at individually. A lawyer and their team will review the details of your accident and case, identifying the appropriate amount of compensation you deserve.
The severity of an injury can directly affect the extent of damages.
Factors that can affect the amount of damages in your case may include:
- The nature and extent of property damage from your accident
- The extent of medical care that you need
- Whether any of your injuries cause disability or long-term symptoms
- Whether someone passed away because of the car accident
- Other considerations specific to your case
A lawyer may rely on experts to help value your case. They’ll explain their calculation of your damages before pursuing compensation for you.
You’ve Been in a Car Accident, What Comes Next?
If you’re the victim of a car accident, your health is the foremost concern. You should get all the necessary medical care, and don’t wait. You want to show a clear link between your accident and resulting injuries by receiving treatment as soon as possible. You also want to have an accurate diagnosis of all injuries.
You should also hire a lawyer after your accident. A lawyer can be an asset even if you choose to pursue an insurance claim (rather than a lawsuit).
An attorney who handles car accident cases can provide clear, unbiased advice. They will lay forth a strategy and execute the plan for you.
How an Attorney Can Help You After a Car Accident
A lawyer will provide helpful advice but can also perform valuable services. When you hire a lawyer for an insurance claim or lawsuit, you should expect them to:
Investigate and Document Your Accident
Your lawyer will lay the foundation of your case with an investigation.
Along with investigators and experts, your lawyer may:
- Gather evidence of the collision, including photographs, witness testimony, and any available footage of the collision
- Obtain the police report documenting your collision
- Hire experts to reconstruct your collision
- Identify liable parties and obtain proof of their negligence
The investigation may also uncover the damages you’ve suffered.
Make a Record of Your Damages and Calculate Their Value
Your lawyer will identify all of your accident-related damages. They’ll also seek to prove those damages through medical bills, medical records, records of time you’ve missed from work, or other means.
An attorney will also calculate the monetary value of your damages. This is a key benefit of having a lawyer, as calculating damages accurately can be complicated.
Explore the Possibility of a Settlement
Your lawyer will seek a fair settlement offer from the liable parties. If the defendants agree to compensate you fairly, your lawyer may encourage you to accept the settlement. It may take time and significant effort to secure a fair settlement offer, and your lawyer will fight hard on your behalf.
Take Your Case to Trial, if Necessary
As you know, trials are not always necessary in car accident cases. If going to trial is in your interests, your lawyer should be ready for a trial.
Know the Risks of Seeking Compensation Without a Lawyer
There are many reasons why car accident victims turn to attorneys for help. For many, handling the legal process without a lawyer is simply too difficult or complicated.
You might hire a lawyer for an insurance claim or lawsuit because:
- You want to focus on recovering from your injuries
- You don’t have legal training or experience
- You don’t have the resources or expertise to handle a lawsuit
- You want to make sure your case is handled correctly by a professional
You may have more reasons to rely on a lawyer. Personal injury attorneys generally don’t charge any upfront fees, instead claiming a percentage of their client’s recovery. This means that anyone, including you, can afford a car accident attorney.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation Today
You may complete free consultations with several attorneys before choosing your law firm. Don’t wait to make calls, as personal injury cases have strict filing deadlines.