Anybody who has been hurt in a car crash has wondered if it makes sense file a claim or if they’ll need to “go to court” to get fair compensation. It can be overwhelming and even frightening to consider facing the pressures of a court case and trial. But the reality is that most cases run very smoothly, especially when you have the help of a good car accident lawyer. So why do car crash cases almost never go all the way to trial?
Why Do Car Crash Cases Almost Never Go To Trial?
The simple answer is that almost every car crash “case” is a financial consideration for the insurance company. If they can get the insured (you) to agree to a settlement before trial, they will take that option every single time. They simply do not want the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars that a trial represents. Nobody does! In fact, pretty much the only time you will see a car accident case go to trial is when the damages are so high and the insurance coverage high enough that the insurance company is willing to pay the hundreds of thousands in attorneys fees that trial costs to roll the dice and try to get a lower judgement. In other words, if they think they can pay 300,000 dollars for trial and save 1,000,000, there’s a good chance they’ll go that route.
The only other time insurance companies will push things to go all the way to trial is when they think that the plaintiff (you) has a bad case or hasn’t prepared for trial. Basically, if they think you’re unprepared, they’ll take advantage of that in the courtroom.
This is why we prepare EVERY SINGLE CASE as if it’s going all the way to trial. Even when it’s obvious the case is going to settle, we take every measure to give you the most bullet-proof case possible. This preparation alone helps make insurance companies want to settle fast. In other words, we scare them into settling by showing how well prepared we are.
What Happens in a Trial for a Car Accident Case?
Car accident trials focus on the statements of experts and witnesses who testify as to what really happened. When we take a case to trial, we bring traffic reconstruction experts, highway safety engineers, medical doctors, mental health professionals and more to prove your case beyond the shadow of a doubt. Our experts testify under oath as to what really happened and work to tear the insurance company experts to shreds.
Each side gets a turn to present their evidence, and a judge or jury decides how much compensation is appropriate. Juries can be wildcards, so it’s most common for the plaintiff and insurance company to settle before it ever gets to that point.
How We Prepare Your Car Accident Case For Trial.
We take a lot of steps to prepare your case for trial. This includes things like conducting an investigation, hiring experts to reconstruct the scene, gathering witness statements, getting any video footage, getting you proper medical treatment, and responding to every single objection and issue raised by the defense. This sounds like a lot to handle because it is. Imagine trying to do all that on your own!
How Long Does a Trial Last for a Car Accident?
The time leading up to trial is much longer than the trial itself. A car accident trial can last a couple of days or perhaps a few weeks in the most complex situations. However it can take one, two, or even three years before the case ever gets to trial.
During the time before trial is when preparation is so important. There are state-established deadlines for when a “complaint” must be filed and then answered, after which a series of deadlines ticks by automatically. This phase of your case is called “Litigation.” During litigation we systematically gather all the evidence required to prove your case and get your settlement or judgment. We prepare as if every case is going all the way to the jury.
What if the Insurance Company Refuses to Offer an Adequate Settlement
This is the main reason car accident cases go to trial. If the insurance refuses to honor their contract and pay for their fair portion of your expenses, the courts can and will compel them to pay.
You don’t have to accept the first or second offer made by an insurance company. You can always negotiate or take it to court. Don’t get scared off by their tactics. Let us help.