While both parties would generally prefer settling a car accident claim outside of a courtroom, there are times when it is necessary to take your case to trial.
Most of the time, car accident claims are settled without needing to go to trial. Generally, you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and your lawyer negotiates with them until you get a fair settlement for your injuries and damages. However, there are moments when despite all their efforts, your St. Louis car accident lawyer determines you simply can’t compromise with the insurance company and must take your case to court to get the maximum compensation.
What can you expect if you ever get to this point?
Why a Car Accident Claim Can Go to Court?
In some car accident cases, the drivers agree on what happened and proceed with the legal process. However, things aren’t always easy and straightforward. Here are some reasons your claim may be headed to court.
The Other Driver Isn’t Admitting Fault
One of the most common reasons car accident claims go to trial is because the other party is disputing their fault. Insurance companies use a lot of tricks to diminish the amount they are supposed to pay. Adjusters often call car accident victims immediately after the incident and ask trick questions that they later use against them. For example, if you said that you are feeling “okay” or “good”, then they could argue later that your injuries are not that serious.
The Insurance Company Is Claiming That the Injuries Are Not Linked to the Accident
Insurance companies are hunting for every opportunity to minimize or deny your claim. If you waited too long to go to the doctor after the crash, then they might argue that your injuries are not linked to the accident at all.
The Settlement Offer Is Very Small
It’s a common practice for insurance companies to first offer a really low settlement hoping that the victim is desperate enough to accept it. Your St. Louis car accident lawyer is well aware of these tactics and can work to negotiate a fair deal. However, if the insurance company refuses to pay what you deserve, then your attorney will likely take the case to court.
What to Expect Next
In most cases, both parties prefer settling the claim outside of court. Insurance companies understand that trials are time-consuming, expensive, and there is a risk that they will have to pay more than they are willing to.
However, if after all the negotiations you still go to trial, here’s what you can generally expect:
- Pre-trial: During the discovery process, both parties will investigate the case, trying to understand what happened. The jury is also selected during this period.
- The Trial: Before the trial, you will likely go through a mediation process during which you will try to reach a resolution. If the mediation is unsuccessful, then you will go to trial. There you will be given the chance to present your case, call witnesses, and argue your case.
Speak With an Experienced Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, it’s wise to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help ensure that your legal right to compensation is protected and can help fight for your rights throughout the process.