First-time victims of car accidents don’t know what to expect and how to proceed when they have to face this situation. If you’re the victim, you’ll probably wonder whether you’ll have to sue the other driver yourself or rather hire an attorney of law to help you receive proper compensation for your loss. You should know that not all car accident cases go to court. Nevertheless, in some cases, this is the way to go. If you get to this point, it’s best to be prepared for it.
This article takes a closer look at some of the main things your Atlanta car accident lawyer will consider, should your car accident case go to court.
What Are The Situations That May Lead To A Car Accident Case Go To Court?
Most car accident cases don’t go to court. Your first step after the accident should be to hire a car accident lawyer to investigate your case and to gather compelling evidence to demonstrate your loss. If your lawyer manages to reach a reasonable settlement with the insurance company of the other party involved in the car accident, there won’t be a need for a trial. However, in the event of not reaching a fair settlement, your case may have to go to court for you to find justice.
Here are a few of the situations that could require a car accident claim to go to court:
- You don’t receive an offer for a fair settlement from the insurance company
- The insurance company refuses to pay you the amount of money claimed by your lawyer to make up for your damages
- Both parties fail to agree on whose fault the car accident was
Insurance companies are in this business for a profit, so they will usually try to settle a case for as little money as possible. If they refuse to pay out the full amount you deserve or they attempt to put the blame on you, your car accident lawyer may recommend you to take this case to court.
How Are Things Going To Unfold Once My Car Accident Goes To Court?
The normal course of a personal injury case that gets to court provides both parties with an opportunity to present their evidence. This is where you can reap the true benefits of hiring a car accident lawyer. They will gather evidence, document and prepare your case, and present it in court.
Presentation Of Evidence Demonstrating Your Injuries
The evidence you’re going to present should convince the jury that there’s a very high probability that the other driver caused your car accident injuries as a result of negligence. Sometimes, you can win the case even by slightly tipping the scales in your favor, so you shouldn’t overlook any details, no matter how small.
Here are some of the main types of evidence your attorney of law may present in court:
- Interviews with witnesses
- Interviews with experts such as doctors who took care of you
- Medical records
- Other proof of your injuries
- Accident reports
The other party (or their lawyer for that matter) is able to object to evidence, cross-examine your witnesses, and present their side of the case. The jury will make a decision based on these two presentations of the case.
How The Jury Deliberates
In some states, the hearing and the trial of the case are the responsibility of either a judge or a jury. In the State of Georgia, all personal injury cases, including car accidents, are subject to trial by jury. Your lawyer will have to convince the jury to sympathize with you. A sympathetic jury can help you gain a lot more than you would under different circumstances.
Injury claims fall under civil cases. This means that they lean toward helping the victim of an accident to recover from their losses rather than finding the proper punishment for the guilty. Also, civil cases go to a different court than criminal cases.
Once both sides have rested their case and have presented their evidence, the jury will decide upon the following:
- Which of the two sides was at fault for the car accident
- How much money the insurance company should give you to compensate for your losses
If everything goes well and your lawyer succeeds at resting your case, you’ll get adequate compensation for your damages. As lawsuits aren’t cheap, most car accident lawyers accept to take only those cases they feel they can win. If you are unsure about how powerful your case is, consider getting in touch with a car accident lawyer as soon as you can.
It’s Rare for an Accident Claim to Go to Court
About 95.8% of car accident cases are settled outside of court. This means it’s extremely rare for an accident claim to go to court and for the people involved to have to speak. But, there is always the opportunity that you were within 5%.
The idea of settling outside of court is that everyone involved saves on resources. The court system doesn’t waste time participating in a resolution that could be established without their support.
The defense is able to reach an amicable resolution without incurring extreme legal fees or risking having to pay more than what they were willing to settle. The victim is able to get compensation for their damages and not have to go through the trauma of appearing in court.
Will You Have to Make a Statement or Speak in Court?
Car insurance companies like to make it seem as though giving a statement is not an option. When you’re going through the claims process, you don’t have to give a statement. However, if you received a court summons, it is likely that you will have to give some type of formal statement. We have a formal statement that might be in the form of speaking in that deposition, or even giving a statement to your attorney.
If you have received a court summons, then you may need to start discussing your legal options for proving fault. Drivers will often rush to file a claim or a lawsuit believing that if they’re the first to file, then they can get away with saying it’s the other person’s fault. Many victims experience this, and it just adds to the trauma and frustration of handling a car accident lawsuit.
In theory, only the victim can file a lawsuit, and the defendant should always be the at-fault party. However, it’s pretty easy to twist the situation and file a lawsuit to paint themselves as the victim.
What Happens When the Two Sides Differ?
The most common reason that people get called into court to give a statement for a car accident is when the two sides differ, and there’s not enough evidence to support either. This is really uncommon for head-on or rear-end collisions. However, sideswipes and T-bone accidents often have this situation.
If it looks like the accident comes down to someone being distracted either by a passenger, radio, or their phone, then Both parties may have to give a statement. But even with statements, a judge should lean more toward whatever evidence is available. For example, if the accusation is that the at-fault driver was distracted, they may use phone records or local traffic cameras to try to determine if that claim is accurate or inaccurate.
Get A Free Consultation With A Car Accident Lawyer Today
At The Weinstein Firm, we have years of experience representing car accident victims in court. We know how to maximize the chances to win a case. Most of the time, we are able to reach a fair settlement with the insurance company, so we don’t even need to take these cases to court. However, if a trial is the correct way to go, we are ready to help you win what you rightfully deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation with a car accident lawyer.