Do I have to go to court after a traffic accident?
This is a common question we get. After someone has been in a traffic accident, whether they’ve been injured or not, they’re worried about going to court. In some rare cases, clients are hoping to go to court because they feel they’ve been wronged.
Statistically speaking, you’re not likely to have to go to court. Only about 5% of traffic accidents are resolved in a courtroom. Most cases reach a settlement long before the court gets involved. Settling is the preferred route to a resolution, but it’s impossible to know if your case will require a judge’s ruling without a consultation.
Why traffic accidents end up in court
The most common reason a traffic accident ends up going to trial is because the insurance company offered a settlement that is too low. Even in that case, it is usually best to solicit a lawyer to negotiate a more suitable settlement. Going to court doesn’t guarantee a positive outcome, but it does guarantee additional time and costs.
If the case involves drugs, alcohol or other behavior such as driving with a suspended license, the likelihood that you’ll end up in court increases greatly. Extenuating circumstances such as these make negotiating with an insurance provider more challenging.
A lawyer can help you avoid a lengthy and risky court case. The first thing your legal representative will do is issue a demand letter to the insurance adjuster seeking a settlement. The good news is the insurance company doesn’t want the added expense of a trial any more than you do. The even better news is, if the company sees that you have retained the services of a law firm with a high success rate, they’re more likely to settle quickly and generously. They’ll recoup their expenses down the line with the next guy who doesn’t have a lawyer on his side.
If you must go to court
Sometimes court is unavoidable. Depending on the specifics of your case, the only way to reach a positive outcome may be to seek a ruling. In which case, it’s best to hire a lawyer with court room experience. That may seem strange. You may be thinking, don’t all lawyers have trial experience? Well, not exactly. Because so few accidents go to trial, many lawyers never see the inside of a court room. If you think you might be end up in front of a judge, you’ll want to make sure your lawyer has been in front a judge before.
Been in an accident? Contact us for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer today.