Usually, you do not have to go to court for a car accident. While some cases go to trial, reaching a settlement during the pre-trial negotiation process is a common outcome.
The insurance company representing the at-fault driver will likely want to settle your case out of court. This is because litigation can be expensive and time-consuming.
However, before accepting an insurance settlement, you will want to have a full understanding of your injuries and the cost of your economic damages. This is because once you agree to a settlement, you cannot return to the insurance company and ask for more money. Agreeing to a settlement closes the case.
If you are worried about having to go to court for a car accident, you may want to consider how an Atlanta car accident lawyer could help you.
Some Cases Go to Trial
There are a number of reasons why some cases are more likely to end up in court than others.
Some of these reasons may include:
Problems Determining Fault
When the facts of a car crash are clear, and the liable insurance company accepts responsibility, the case may settle out of court.
However, if the insurer believes that its client was not at fault or that your actions behind the wheel contributed to the crash, it may refuse to agree to a settlement. In this case, to recover compensation, you may need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
If you work with an Atlanta car accident lawyer, they can investigate the circumstances of the crash, interview witnesses, and review the police report to determine who was at fault. If they can convince the insurer that their client caused the crash, your chances of reaching a settlement out of court will increase.
Issues with Your Medical Diagnosis
Shortly after your accident, you may have sought medical care. At the time of your visit, doctors may have diagnosed your injuries and administered treatment. However, as your health condition evolved, you may have developed new complications or needed more procedures.
This could leave you with an uncertain future regarding your health. In these cases, because your health condition is still evolving, your lawyer and the insurance company may disagree about what constitutes a fair settlement offer.
You will want your settlement to cover the full cost of your medical expenses––including expenses that have not happened yet. However, the insurance company may not want to cover these losses. They may argue that you are exaggerating the extent of your injuries or that your case is not built on evidence.
In a case like this, where both sides are at an impasse, a lawsuit may be necessary to help you recover compensation.
A Lack of Insurance Coverage
The Georgia Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire (OCI) spells out the minimum amounts of liability insurance a motor vehicle operator in the state must carry.
If the driver who hit you is carrying the minimum amount of insurance, this coverage may not fully cover the cost of your damages.
In a case like this, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit to help you pursue adequate funds.
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
Explaining Georgia’s Car Accident Statute of Limitations
If you need to go to court for a car accident, then you should be aware of the state’s statute of limitations. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §9-3-33 outlines how long you have to file your lawsuit.
You typically have two years from the date of your collision to file your lawsuit. You do not have to settle the case within two years. You just have to start the process of seeking damages within this timeframe.
Occasionally, circumstances exist where this deadline does not apply. For instance, if you were injured as a minor or the at-fault party fled the state, you may be given additional time to file your lawsuit. Otherwise, if the statute of limitations expires on your case, you could be barred from recovering compensation.
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Can Help You Today
So, even though you do not have to go to court for a car accident, there are circumstances when a lawsuit is the only way for you to obtain a just settlement for your losses.
If the insurer refuses to acknowledge the extent of your injuries and offer fair compensation, going to trial may be an opportunity to resolve your case.
The thought of having to go through the litigation process can be frightening, but you don’t have to do it alone.
At Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, we will do everything we can to negotiate successfully with the insurer on your behalf. If this does not work, though, we are ready to stand by your side in court to help you win a fair judgment.
For a free case review, call us at (404) 888-8888.