Ask a Car Accident Attorney: When Does a Case Typically Go to Trial?

Car Accident Attorney

Many car accident cases can be handled outside of the courtroom. Working with an excellent car accident attorney in San Antonio will give you the best chance of this happening for you. However, sometimes they still have to go to trial. Let’s go over exactly why and when that happens.

1. An Unfair Settlement

Insurance companies frequently attempt to under compensate those who have been injured in a car accident. This is unsurprising, as generally, businesses want to save as much money as possible.

However, an attorney understands the full value of your claim, and they can see a lowball offer easily and advise you not to take it.

The insurance company will typically try to undermine you by a few thousand dollars. If you are entitled to, for example, $150,000, yet the insurance company wants to give you $5,000, then your attorney may advise you to take this to trial without any attempts at further negotiations.

An experienced San Antonio car accident attorney will offer advice on your specific case if this happens to you.

2. If the Insurance Company Is Blaming You

Sometimes you may be partially liable for the car accident. You won’t automatically have to go to trial if you’re partially liable.

You may just win a partial settlement via negotiations after an investigation by your attorney. For example, you may win 80% of the full settlement if you were 20% responsible for the accident.

However, if the insurance company wants to place full blame on you when you were partially or not at all liable, then you can take this to court.

In fact, you may be entitled to further compensation if you’re in no way liable and have been accused of causing the accident.

How Long Do Car Accident Cases Take to Resolve When They Go to Trial?

Most car accident cases can be resolved in two or three months when they go to trial. However, sometimes it can take years to resolve if it was a particularly messy crash or if you’re dealing with a complex and confusing situation. Sometimes it will depend on the type and severity of the motor vehicle collision.

How Frequently Do Car Accident Cases Go to Trial?

It’s extremely rare that a car accident case needs to go to trial. Trials are time-consuming, taxing, and expensive. Insurance companies and liable parties typically wish to resolve claims through negotiations and a settlement.

What Are the Benefits of Settlement vs a Trial?

Some complicated cases may go straight to trial, but your attorney will be able to advise you on this after evaluating your case.

Settlements are less time-consuming, more cost-effective, and far less draining. Generally, you’ll always want to deal with your case with a simple matter of negotiations and the settlement.

Your attorney will do most of the work when dealing with the insurance company and the other party’s attorney.

If all goes well, you could get your first check in the mail within two months of starting negotiations. In the best-case scenario, you’ll have a fair hefty sum of compensation even after your attorney takes their contingency fee.

So, in short, there are no benefits of going to trial when you don’t need to. It should always be a last resort when you’re dealing with car accident cases.

Who Will Be Involved in My Car Accident Trial?

There are more people involved in a trial than in negotiation for settlement. Negotiations typically involve you, your attorney, the opposing party, the opposing party’s insurance company, and possibly the opposing party’s lawyer.

Trials have a few more people involved. They also use terms you may be unfamiliar with. Here’s who’ll be involved in your case and what they’ll be referred to in the courtroom:

  • The person requesting the trial (you), aka the plaintiff
  • The defendant, aka the other driver or their insurance company
  • Your attorney
  • Opposing counsel (the defendant’s attorney, if applicable)
  • A judge
  • A jury

What’s the Process of a Car Accident Trial?

The process of your trial is relatively straightforward. Here’s what you’ll go through:

  • You’ll make an opening statement
  • The attorneys will present your cases to attempt to prove your claims
  • Your attorneys will make closing arguments
  • The jury will deliberate the outcome
  • The jury will tell the judge their verdict

Taking a car accident to trial can be incredibly intimidating, but sadly, sometimes it’s necessary. Luckily, most of the time you’ll be able to settle your case outside of the courtroom.

Talk to your attorney about which option is best for you, and they’ll be able to guide you throughout.

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