After a car accident, if negotiating with the insurance company does not produce just compensation for your losses, you may have to file a lawsuit in civil court to obtain a settlement.
As with any court case, both sides will present evidence, attempting to convince the judge and jury why a certain outcome is justified.
During the trial, both sides will argue fault, cross-examine witnesses, and call upon expert field consultants.
While considering whether or not litigation could serve your legal goals, you should also consider how an Atlanta car accident lawyer could manage the process on your behalf.
Determining When to Go to Court
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), the vast majority of car accident cases do not end up in court. Instead, they are settled through negotiations between the insurance company and the injured claimant.
However, some cases reach an impasse, necessitating a court case. Deciding when it is time to stop negotiating and go to court is something you and your attorney will need to decide upon together.
Settling your case in the negotiation phase could have the following benefits:
- The injured claimant may receive a faster settlement since lawsuits can take some time to unfold.
- Both parties can cut down on the costs associated with litigation, which can become expensive.
- Both parties can reach a mutual agreement rather than having the matter decided by a third party.
Sometimes, though, the two sides simply cannot come to an agreement during the negotiation process. When this happens, filing a lawsuit may be a viable option.
Going to Court Can Lead to a Good Outcome for You
If negotiations fail in your case, and you end up having to file a lawsuit, this is not necessarily a bad thing. In some cases, it simply is impossible to convince the insurance company to offer you a fair amount of money.
To ensure you receive a settlement amount that truly reflects your pain and suffering, you may need to go to court. After all, insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and it is in their best interests to try to make injured claimants settle for less than they deserve.
Your attorney can help you to decide if going to court gives you a better chance of receiving the settlement you are seeking.
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
Understanding What Happens When the Court Case Starts
First, you will need to file your case with the appropriate court. You typically have two years from the date of the crash to do this, per the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §9-3-33.
Once your case begins, both parties may enter into “discovery,” where both parties share evidence and information about the case. Both parties may also interview witnesses and motion to have some pieces of information dismissed.
From there, the trial will begin. Both parties will present their arguments. The at-fault party’s lawyer will attempt to dispute your allegations and shield their client from financial responsibility.
Based on the strength of your case’s evidence, the judge or jury could grant you compensation in the form of a court award.
Evidence that Your Lawyer Can Use to Build Your Lawsuit
Your attorney will come up with a strategy to help convince a judge and jury that you deserve compensation. During a civil case, the burden of proof is on you, the injured claimant.
The evidence you provide must show that the other party acted negligently, and therefore, they should compensate you for your losses.
The following are some forms of evidence that your lawyer can use to build your case:
- The accident report
- Your medical records
- Information from your healthcare team
- Your x-rays and lab test results
- Photos of your injuries and property damage
- Traffic camera footage
In addition to gathering and utilizing evidence, your lawyer will prepare you to answer questions. You may be asked to appear in court and provide testimony.
Call Our Georgia Law Firm for Help with Your Case
When you hire Bader Scott Injury Lawyers to represent you in your personal injury lawsuit, you can count on us to stand by your side throughout the legal proceedings.
We will negotiate in good faith with the insurer and attempt to reach a favorable settlement as quickly as possible. If we cannot resolve your case out of court, then we have no problem representing you at trial.
You can explore working with us during a free consultation. Make sure to ask us about what happens when you go to court for a car accident.
Call us for a free case review at (404) 888-8888 today.