Although most car accident cases are settled out of court, sometimes your lawyer may need to take your case to trial to recover maximum compensation. Below, learn more about some of the most common reasons a lawyer may want to take a claim to trial.
It is important to hire an attorney who is prepared to go to trial when necessary. At Anderson & Cummings, the car accident attorneys in our Fort Worth location have more than 50 years of combined experience and have recovered millions in compensation for car accident victims.
Set up a free consultation today to discuss your situation. We will not charge you any fees to talk about your potential claim and we do not get paid unless you do.
Reasons for a Trial
In most car accident cases, both sides agree on a settlement to compensate the victim for his or her damages. However, when the two sides cannot agree on a settlement, the victim’s attorney may need to file a lawsuit to pursue compensation.
Disputes Over Fault
One of the most common reasons a settlement cannot be agreed to is because the insurance company claims the victim is at fault for the accident. Insurance companies often use victims’ words against them to claim they are at fault. For example, if the insurance company called you after the crash and you said you were in a rush, they may claim you were speeding.
Claiming an Injury is Not Linked to an Accident
Insurance companies often claim a victim’s injury is not linked to the accident. For example, if you waited a day or two after the crash to go to the hospital, the insurance company may say your injury did not happen in the accident. As the victim, you are responsible for proving your injury happened in the accident.
Settlement Offers is Too Small
Another reason why some car accident claims go to trial is because the insurance company’s settlement offer is too small. For example, the insurance company may dispute the severity of your injury and offer much less than the value of your medical bills. There may also be disputes about the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
If you are struggling to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company, it is important to seek legal representation. An experienced lawyer can help you negotiate and he or she will be prepared to go to trial if necessary.
What to Expect at a Trial
Insurance companies would prefer to settle instead of going to trial. A trial is expensive and time consuming and the outcome will be decided by a jury. The jury may award much more compensation than the insurance company was prepared to pay out. That is why the insurance company may come back with a better offer after a lawsuit is filed.
However, it is important to have a lawyer with a proven record of success at trial. Insurance companies may be more likely to come back to the table with a better offer if they are dealing with an attorney with this kind of experience.
The attorneys at Anderson & Cummings know accident victims often have a lot of anxiety and uncertainty about going to trial. That is why we are here to explain the process so our clients know what to expect.
Before the trial occurs, both sides will get to work investigating and building case. This is known as the discovery process, which may involve a deposition.
Another pre-trial step is the selection of a jury. People are selected at random for a jury pool and are asked a series of questions to determine their ability to remain as objective as possible. After an independent jury has been selected, a trial date will be set.
You may be required to go through pre-trial mediation, giving both sides one last chance to reach a settlement before going to trial.
What Happens at Trial
If mediation is unsuccessful, the case proceeds to trial. Both sides give opening statement explaining why they believe they are in the right.
Each party has the opportunity to present their case, which usually involves calling witnesses and presenting evidence. After each party presents its case, they will have an opportunity to recap their arguments in a closing statement. After this, the jury deliberates and decides how to rule and how much compensation to award, if any.
Have Questions About Your Claim? Call Today
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident and believe the insurance company is offering less than the value of your damages, give us a call today to schedule a free consultation.
There are no obligations or upfront fees for meeting with our firm. If you have a valid claim and decide to hire us, there will be no fees unless you receive compensation.
We have a successful track record of recovering compensation for car crash victims, including a settlement of $5.622 million for a crash victim who suffered a brain injury.
Anderson & Cummings. We are here to help. (817) 920-9000.