The majority of car accident claims and other personal injury cases settle without the need to go to trial. In these cases, the negligent driver’s insurance company and the victim agree on a reasonable amount to compensate him for his injuries. However, not all cases settle, and when you file your claim, you need to be prepared to take your case to trial if it becomes necessary.
Factors That Could Make it Less Likely That Your Case Will Settle Out of Court
Just because the insurance company will not settle your claim does not mean that you have a weak case against the negligent driver. Some of the reasons your case may not settle include:
- Disputes about fault. If the fault of the negligent driver is not clear cut, his insurance company may not settle your clam, instead arguing that your own negligence or partial negligence caused the accident. Your attorney may need to hire an accident reconstruction expert to reenact your collision, use witness testimony, and use other evidence to prove the other driver’s negligence at trial.
- Disputes about your injuries. You may not be able to reach an acceptable settlement amount if the insurance company believes that your injuries were caused by a pre-existing condition or are not as serious as you claim. Even when the other driver’s liability is clear, his insurance company may vigorously argue about your injuries and prognosis.
- Disputes about the value of your claim. In some cases, the insurance company will agree that you were injured and their driver was at fault, but will value your claim for significantly less than what you and your attorney believe your claim is worth. In this situation, you may be better off letting a jury decide the amount of compensation you are entitled to.
- Claim is for catastrophic injuries or death. If you suffered long-term injuries or a loved one died as a result of the auto crash, the value of your claim could be large. The insurance company may defend more vigorously against paying because the stakes are much higher.
Your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf before the statute of limitations expires if he cannot successfully resolve your claim. However, this does not mean that your case will not ultimately settle. Many cases settle after extensive litigation or close to the date of the jury trial when the insurance company finally realizes that the victim will not cave in and settle for less than what he is owed.
If you or a family member was injured in a car accident, the legal team at Tavss Fletcher is here to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. To learn about your legal options and how we can assist you, call our office today to schedule a case evaluation.