Am I required to go to court to file a car accident claim?

A car accident claim can leave you unsure of what to do next. After a car accident, you may be wondering if you will have to go to court or if you will need a lawyer. This usually depends on the severity of your injuries and negotiations with insurers.

You are never required to have a lawyer. However, some victims employ legal representation so that they can focus on their recovery. 1-800-Injured in Miami can connect you with an attorney in our network to take on your case.

Most car accident insurance claims are resolved in negotiations. However, when both parties cannot agree on who is responsible for the accident or both parties cannot agree on the amount of compensation the victim should receive, the case may proceed to court. Car accidents occur on a daily basis, so knowing what to do if you’re involved in one can be helpful.

common car accidents

The Association for Safe International Road Travel reports that 4.4 million Car accidents happen every year. Even though car accidents are a seemingly common occurrence, going to court for a car accident is not.

Personal injury cases are settled out of court 95% of the time. In many cases, your case will be resolved in negotiations. However, you could end up in court when:

  • The other driver disputes the fault
  • The insurer refuses to offer a fair deal
  • The insurer denies your claim outright
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If your case needs to go to trial, it will be up to you to prove why the other party is responsible for your injuries. Legal professionals use the elements of negligence to prove who is responsible for car accident claims.

Negligence in a car accident claim

When filing a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove negligence to win in court. The four main elements of a negligence claim include the following.

duty of care

The other driver owed it to you to operate the motor vehicle with a certain level of care towards you, other drivers and passengers on the road.

breach of duty

The other party violated his duty by doing or failing to do something that endangered him. This could include breaking traffic laws such as speeding or using unsafe driving practices.

causality

The other party’s breach of duty caused the accident. This means that the other party is legally responsible for your damages and injuries.

damage

Economic damages generally refer to the losses you incur as a result of your accident. These could be for your injuries, loss of wages as a result of missing work or no longer being able to perform your duties, and property damage.

A lawyer can help you determine a monetary value for your economic and non-economic damage🇧🇷 If you’re considering taking legal action against a driver at fault who caused the accident, don’t delay. Each state has its own statute of limitations or deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. The clock usually starts from the day the accident occurred.

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What to expect in court

If you are unable to resolve your case successfully in negotiations, you may be forced to take legal action to recover what is owed to you. Experienced car accident attorneys can help with every step of the process, including:

filing a complaint

The litigation process begins with the filing of a claim. This includes information about you, the other party, the accident and your legal right to compensation. Your attorney can prepare your claim and file it under the applicable statute of limitations in your state.

getting evidence

Discovery is a formal process of learning about the other party’s evidence and defenses. Your personal injury attorney may collect information to help you establish the elements of your case:

  • Asking the defendant to admit certain allegations
  • Asking the defendant to answer written questions under oath
  • Request for certain documentation from the defendant
  • Sending subpoena requests to everyone involved, including witnesses, your employer, or your healthcare professionals
  • Questioning the accused or witnesses during the deposition
  • Interviewing and examining potential expert witnesses

going to trial

If your case ends up in court, you will have to appear in court. Your attorney can help you prepare and interview potential jurors to ensure they are not biased against you. Your attorney can also present evidence to establish your claim and examine your witnesses. They may also cross-examine the defendant and his witnesses.

Usually, after the trial, a judge or jury will make a decision in your case. If either party is not satisfied with the outcome of this decision, their case may be appealed if there are errors made during the trial or litigation process that affected the outcome.

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Deadline for filing a lawsuit

If you decide to file a lawsuit against the party at fault in your accident, you will be subject to the statute of limitations outlined in your state. In the state of Florida, for example, the statute of limitations for a car accident claim is up to four years after the accident occurred. Each state will vary.

car accident arbitration

Arbitration is less formal than taking your case to trial. However, the circumstances are similar. For example, your attorney will prepare an opening statement, call witnesses, present evidence, and introduce experts where applicable. Procedures usually take a few hours.

Prior to the arbitration, you and your attorney will discuss your testimony so that you are prepared. Offering as much information and evidence to your lawyer as possible will help them build their case. Arbitrations can be helpful in keeping claims out of court. They are also less expensive than a test.

Don’t let the person responsible for your losses go unaccountable. Speak with an experienced attorney today for a free case review and see what type of financial compensation you may be entitled to.

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