Will Your Personal Injury Case Go To Court?Share
Most personal injury car accident cases are never seen by a judge or jury and are settled instead. To learn more about what can cause a personal injury car accident case to be heard in court and not settled, read on.
What Is the Difference Between Settlements and Court?
A settlement is an agreement between a driver and the other driver's insurer. The agreement is legal even though it doesn't involve a court. The victim in the accident accepts a certain sum of money. In return, the victim agrees to never file a lawsuit against the other driver or their insurers pertaining to that particular accident case.
Settlements have the advantage of being quick and easy. Many people have their personal injury lawyer demand payment from the other side and then the lawyer negotiates for the settlement. Payment is made quickly once an agreement is created, and no real court costs are paid by anyone. Both sides prefer to settle cases. When a case goes to court, there are usually specific reasons why.
Court involves a long process due to crowded court calendars and getting through the trial preparation period known as discovery. Victims can wait months for their cases to begin in court. However, some victims get more money by taking their cases to trial. The jury might be more sympathetic to the way an accident has affected a victim's life than the insurer would. The word of the judge and jury means a court judgment. The judgment must be paid to the victim relatively quickly, although the timing can vary.
Why Go to Court?
In many cases, the issue of fault causes cases to go to court. When the person that caused the accident cannot be readily identified, a trial must occur so that the jury can make a determination. Some accidents, for example, occur in rural areas where only the two drivers know what happened. Other cases involve more than two vehicles. This can create a confusing accident scene with multiple drives and fault issues.
Other reasons to take a case to court include disputes over damages. Damage is another word for a category of loss owed to a victim. Common damage areas include:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Vehicle repairs or total losses
- Pain and suffering
In this type of dispute, the other side agrees that they owe the victim money, but they may be disputing one or more damage categories.
To learn more about taking your car accident case to court, speak to an auto accident lawyer.