Have you suffered an injury and you’re eligible for compensation? Find out why most auto accident lawsuits never make it to trial.
Even though there are over 16,000 car accidents every day in the United States, auto accident lawsuits hardly ever make it to trial.
Depending on the accident, car crash cases can cost a lot of money. There’s also room for significant compensation, especially pertaining to major accidents.
Every year, road crashes cost the United States about $230 billion. That’s a little under $1,000 per person. Still, there are a few strong reasons why everyone involved would rather avoid a trial after a car accident.
Did you recently suffer a car accident injury? Do you think it would be better for your case to go to trial?
Here’s why most auto accident lawsuits get settled before they ever see a courtroom.
Going to Court Costs Money
One significant reason why a trial is the last resort is because of the costly nature of it all. Litigation is expensive, and the costs add up quickly.
Producing documents, hiring expert witnesses, and attending and taking depositions can add up to 5 figures before you know it. Plus, when a case goes to trial, it often continues on for years.
Both the plaintiff’s defense and the insurance company’s defense would rather save time and money whenever possible.
Plus, remember that most car accident victims don’t want to wait for years to receive their compensation. Medical bills and missed work are two of the many reasons why plaintiffs need compensation sooner rather than later.
Just like in the movies, settlement offers can rise as a lawsuit goes on, but it’s not as common as some people think.
If you do go to trial hoping for an even better offer, there’s always a chance that the plaintiff loses, and both the plaintiff and their lawyer don’t receive any compensation at all.
Trials Can Be Tricky
Trials are tricky in that the outcome is up in the air. Even with sound evidence, one can never predict how a jury will respond to the facts and details of a case.
It’s the goal of every car accident lawyer to get the compensation their plaintiff deserves. They know and witness the many ways in which a car accident can affect one’s life, physically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s their sound experience and understanding that stops them from wanting to take a chance in court.
By avoiding an unpredictable trial, your auto accident lawyer can ensure they get you the compensation you deserve, and in a timely manner.
Compensation Comes Faster Without a Trial
Automobile accident lawsuits can take significant time, even without going to trial. But going to trial can prolong the case for months and even years.
We mentioned earlier that costs add up quickly for the plaintiff. The longer it takes to receive compensation, the faster and deeper in debt a car accident victim can find themselves.
Say you do go to trial, and you win a judgment, for example. Even then, your settlement amount isn’t guaranteed, especially if it’s an amount that’s more than the defendant’s insurance policy coverage.
When you opt to negotiate through your car accident lawyer, you’ll be able to collect a settlement faster and try to move on with your life.
Insurance Companies Would Rather Settle
In a car accident lawsuit, the plaintiff is usually suing another driver. However, it’s still rare for that defendant to pay out any judgment should the plaintiff win their case.
It’s the defendant’s vehicle insurance provider who pays, and it’s in their best interest to resolve that accident as fast as possible. They want to avoid a time-consuming, costly trial.
In addition, they want to avoid the unpredictability of going to trial.
However, that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily accept the first offer you receive. Insurance companies will do what they can to close the claim for as little as possible.
Plus, more often than not, there are future costs that a plaintiff doesn’t always consider. For example, you might be able to return to work with a sore back injury but still need treatment for months to come. Your lawyer can assess what the damages of an accident are, including future costs associated with the crash.
Don’t agree to a settlement until you discuss the full extent of your losses with your auto accident lawyer.
Most Car Accident Lawyers Work on Contingency
Yes, it’s true that your lawyer wants to make money too. Otherwise, how would they be able to afford to protect and serve the many accident victims they help?
Most car crash attorneys work on contingency, though, which means they only get paid if you get compensation.
There’s no point in you both putting time, effort, and money into a case, only to risk losing it all in a trial. It’s usually in everyone’s best interest to make sure a settlement is guaranteed, and the only way to do so is to settle before it goes to trial.
Plus, attorneys can’t spend all their time in court, or else they wouldn’t be able to properly research and prepare for the many cases they handle at once. Despite what most movies show, most of a lawyer’s professional time gets spent handling the many demands of the job that exist outside of a courtroom.
People Want to Move On
Many accident victims suffer from post-traumatic stress after they endure a car crash.
It’s vital to continue with visits to your doctor and to follow their recommended course of action after an accident. If you find that your memories of the crash are haunting or that you can’t shake feelings of anxiety at the thought of driving, there’s nothing wrong with getting help.
Even though you should face your fears and get the help you need, though, you can also work toward putting it all behind you. Most people want just that, which is why settling before a case goes to trial makes the most sense.
Both defendants and plaintiffs want finality so they can pick up the pieces and move on with their lives after a car crash. Insurance companies want those cases completed, too, so they can close the files.
Opting to settle is the fastest and most reliable way to receive damages and move on from a crash.
What Your Attorney Does First
Your lawyer is fully prepared to take your car accident lawsuit to court, even if it isn’t their recommended course of action. The right lawyer won’t leave any stone unturned in coming up with a fair settlement proposal to the defendant’s insurance company.
Here are some of the things that any excellent auto accident lawyer will cover to legitimize the value of your claim. They’ll present everything to the insurance adjuster before filing the lawsuit.
- A copy of the traffic crash report from the police department
- Photos of any property damage concerning all vehicles involved in the accident
- All billing statements and medical records
- Knowledge of the defendant’s liability policy
- Investigation of the driver who caused the collision
- Description of all injuries sustained
- Description of the crash
- Documentation of lost wages, both current and future
- Fair settlement figure based on year’s of experience handling similar types of awards
In most auto accident lawsuits, insurance companies will comply with the plaintiff’s lawyer and their settlement request. Sometimes the value of a claim gets disputed, and that’s when litigation comes into play.
A seasoned lawyer will use their valuable set of skills and strategies to ensure pre-litigation is a win for the plaintiff. If your lawyer takes the right steps to convince the defendant’s insurance company that what you’re asking for is fair, you won’t have to take your car accident lawsuit to trial.
It’s Uncommon for Auto Accident Lawsuits to Go to Trial
Auto accident lawsuits rarely go to trial, and for good reasons. Trials are costly and time-consuming, and no parties involved want to spend all that time and money for a chance at an unexpected verdict.
Plus, after an accident, the costs of missed work and medical bills add up quickly. Waiting years for compensation can put a plaintiff in debt well beyond their means. It can also rack up unnecessary costs for attorneys on both sides.
While your car accident lawyer is surely prepared to go to trial, their skill set enables them to fight for you outside the courtroom. When it comes to your health, your compensation, and your peace of mind, there’s no sense in taking a chance.
If you’ve been in an accident and aren’t sure where to go from here, don’t panic. Schedule a FREE consultation today so that we can guide you in these crucial next steps.