When to Settle or Go to Trial in a Car Accident Case
People who suffer injuries in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence are often left in confusion as to what steps to take. So many times, injuries sustained in a car accident can be severe and require severe and expensive medical care. When a person’s injuries are serious, there are losses because they may find themselves unable to enjoy life or work as they did before the car accident.
Many victims of car accidents can find some measure of relief in filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party and their insurance company. It can quickly become problematic because insurance companies prefer to settle offering victims small or moderate settlement payouts to avoid more prolonged and more costly trials. They also want to avoid having to pay a potentially more substantial amount of money in damages to the victim.
In many situations, settling with the insurance company may be the best option for you, although there may be times when you will need to defend your rights and hire a car accident lawyer to take your claim to court.
If you have been hurt in a car accident and another driver is at fault, here are some factors that should help you determine if you should accept a settlement or how a car accident lawyer can help you make the right decision.
Should You Accept a Settlement for Your Car Accident Claim?
Most car accident claims are settled even before the accident victim files a lawsuit in court. There are many more that will be settled while preparing for the court battle or even during the trial. There are many instances when the insurance company will settle with the victim so that they receive justice for their case and the compensation they need. It is also beneficial to all parties to avoid a long and drawn-out trial.
If you have been injured due to a car accident, you may choose to settle your claim to avoid having to pay costly legal fees or go through the hassles of litigation. You could also avoid suffering the humiliation of an unfavorable jury decision. Settling your case may help you receive compensation a lot faster than having to go through a lengthy court trial. It also relieves a lot of anxiety and stress if there are issues that your car accident lawyer thinks might be a hindrance to your case at trial, or if there is any chance you may lose out on any compensation.
Creating a Demand Letter
When considering a settlement without litigation, your attorney will help you create a demand letter so that you can start the resolution process. To get the process started, your car accident lawyer will collect your medical records, which could take weeks or even months. It is best to get started and work with your attorney immediately.
When your accident and injuries cause you to miss work, your injury lawyer will collect your employment records to have proof of your salary and schedule before the accident occurred so that they can document proof of loss due to injuries sustained in the car accident. They will also need to access information on your medical treatment.
When all of the pertinent documents and paperwork have been gathered, your car accident lawyer will create a direct and detailed demand letter. The demand letter will include the timeline and all events relevant to your case.
When To Take Your Car Accident Case to Trial
There are times when it is best to take your car accident case to trial. This happens when the insurance company offers to settle for less than the amount of compensation for your losses. This could include the cost and future cost of medical care and treatment, lost wages from work, and you’re the value of your real pain and suffering from the accident.
It is critical to speak with your lawyer to help determine the actual value of your accident claim. There are certain instances where the insurance company will not make a fair offer, and this is the time when you and your attorney will begin to prepare to take them to court.
Preparing for the trial means being prepared, although it doesn’t guarantee a trial will happen. When you file a lawsuit and are preparing for a court trial, this may be enough action to get the attention of the insurance company. They may negotiate at this point when they realize how serious you are about receiving a fair settlement.
The Reality of Car Accident Litigation
If you decide to file a lawsuit with your attorney, they will detail your complaint and submit it to the court and the responsible party. Once they have been formally served, the defendant generally has approximately three weeks to respond to the complaint.
The next phase of the litigation will begin, and both teams of legal experts will look at relevant witnesses and decide if they can use their testimony at trial.
Court battles can be an expensive and stressful process, but if you are working with an injury lawyer with experience, you are in good hands.