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Car Accident Injury Claim: Settle or Sue in Court?

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Filed under Automotive, Editorial

Like many people, you may not be aware of the fact that car accident claims tend to settle before going to court. Another interesting fact is that most insurance claims are resolved by a settlement when no lawsuit has even been filed. Does this mean that if you have been in a car accident you should completely discard the idea of going to court? Let’s find out.

What are the advantages of settling?

When you think about settling you may believe that this is the equivalent of accepting any offer just to get the matter resolved. In legal terms, that is not necessarily true. As a matter of fact, settling may offer you several advantages, such as:

  • You may receive the compensation you are seeking much faster
  • You avoid paying attorney’s fees
  • You can skip all those court dates – for hearings, depositions, and for the trial.
  • You do not have to risk having to follow an unpredictable or even unfavorable decision issued by a jury.

Remember that settling does not mean that one party is innocent and the other is guilty. It just means that both parties have reached a satisfactory conclusion.

What are the advantages of going to court?

If a settlement is neither possible nor advisable, you may have to file a lawsuit and resolve the matter in court. This may happen because the offer you receive from the insurance company is too low or unreasonable or you feel that you want to get justice for the injuries you suffered and are prepared to fight to get the full amount.

Going to court means that:

  • You will have the possibility of receiving the full amount you are seeking.
  • If you win, you will be able to oblige the defendant to pay compensation that they might not have been willing to consider during the settlement negotiations.
  • You may feel that the circumstances surrounding your case deserve to be known by the public and want to make sure that the issue does not go unnoticed. Going to court will offer the outlet you need now.

Keep in mind that if you do decide to take the matter to court, you face two possibilities:

  • Receiving more than what the insurance company is offering you, or
  • Receiving absolutely nothing if the jury finds for the defendant.

Disadvantages of Going to Court

You may not think too much about privacy at this point but it is important to consider that, even though what happens during the trial is a private matter, court documents do become public records. If you settle and there are no court documents, the whole incident will be inaccessible to the public.

Also, even if you win, the other party has the right to appeal. As opposed to cases that are settled out of court, if the other party is unhappy with the verdict, they have the right to appeal. This will not only make the case last much longer but it will represent much higher court and attorney’s fees for you.

Read more about the legal process for car accident injury claims to help you make the right decision for your case. Working with an experienced car accident attorney can give you peace of mind in knowing that the final outcome is one with which you can be satisfied.


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