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Does A Car Accident Lawsuit Always Go To Trial?

April 15, 2020

by Donaldson & Weston

car accident lawsuit

It is a known fact that whenever a car accident lawsuit is involved, you will consider or need to hire an attorney. You know what ‘they’ say, “A person who represents himself in court has a fool for a client”. Whether that may be true or not, is it always within good counsel to seek advice from a professional. 

There have been many studies and statistics. Depending on where the study was conducted, most statistics show 95% of personal injury lawsuits settle outside of court. Never to go to trial. Based on the results of a lot of these specific court cases, the parties involved might be taking an all-or-nothing risk if it ends up in front of a jury. In addition to the risk of losing the trial, there may be extra costs or fees that have to be paid directly to the court. As everyone would prefer, all the added work and money tries to be avoided. 

Settling Car Accident Lawsuits Outside of Court

Beyond the car accident victim and their personal injury lawyer attorneys. Studies find that insurance companies also prefer to settle outside court for a car accident lawsuit. Since settlements are agreed upon by both parties, the risk doesn’t have to be so massive. However, aside from the unpredictable outcome from a jury trial, there could be an unforeseen payout to the plaintiff with litigation costs.

Even when winning a car accident case trial, the insurance company could still face an appeal that could prolong the closing of their cases. With out-of-court settlements, both the insurance companies and plaintiff attorneys can correctly estimate the cost of taking a claim to court and determine which alternative is the best. Personal Injury attorneys are your support to fight any unfair proposals from insurance companies. 

Considering their main goal is to pay out as little as possible. The help of your personal injury lawyer can help you figure out how much your car accident claim is worth. Making all the effort worth the payback.

Settlements in Trial

There have been occasions when settling on costs in court can occur and may raise the value of the settlement costs. Going to trial to fight for more money in the settlement agreement is also risky. You cannot count on it occurring as an option and if it does, the larger sum may not add up to all fees and additional costs in court. 

After a car accident, bills and payments will start to pile up. If or when the victim wins in a settlement or in court, the money will have more value now than later. Even if you win a judgement there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to collect it quickly. Negotiating a settlement out of court will allow you to gather your compensation rather quickly and get you on your way. 

Maybe That's Not The 'Case'

The vast majority of car accident lawsuits don’t go to trial but perhaps the parties can’t agree. Maybe the insurance company is acting on bad faith? Maybe the medical evidence is questioned and addresses some issues concerning the treatment that was required after the accident? The next step would be to take it in front of a 12 person jury for deliberation. The success of the victim's case will depend tremendously on the background knowledge of their personal injury lawyer, his or her experiences and knowledge. In front of the selected jury, your personal injury attorney will have to present an opening statement, provide evidence, and call any bystanders or other car accident witnesses to testify. 

After closing arguments, the jury deliberates and reaches a verdict. The appointed judge reads the verdict for official records. However, the jury concluding in the plaintiff’s favor is one battle, collecting their money is the next. 

Closure is the Goal

Practically speaking, not every car accident lawsuit can be taken to trial. Personal injury lawyers typically juggle many cases at once. There are simply not enough attorneys to prepare and try every case. If you are worried about going to court the likelihood tends to be slim to none. All parties involved are typically looking for finality. Especially the victim. Post any car accident, the desire to get paid and allowing the victim to move on with their lives is what this process is all about. 

Court cases can last up to several years. Appeals can add another few years to a case so it is most efficient to settle. It saves time, money, and unforeseen obstacles along the way, not just for the victim and attorney but for the insurance companies alike.  

Call 772-266-555 for a Free Consultation with a Stuart Car Accident Attorney

If you or someone in your family was seriously hurt in an auto accident, contact Donaldson & Weston. Our team will represent you against the insurance company, and if needed, carry your case all the way to trial. For a free, no-obligation consultation with a car accident lawyer  in Stuart, call 772-266-5555 or send us a message.