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Do I Have to Go to Court After a Car Accident?

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Car Accidents on March 19, 2021

It is a common misconception that filing a car accident claim or lawsuit will always result in a court trial. In reality, about 95% of personal injury cases settle without going to court. Achieving a successful settlement out of court can save you time and money as a claimant. Yet, in some cases, going to court can result in better case outcomes. The best way to find out if you have to go to court after a car accident is by consulting with a Tampa car accident attorney.

What Is an Insurance Settlement?

An insurance settlement is a legal agreement between a car accident victim and a car insurance company. It is a legally binding document that exchanges financial compensation to reimburse the plaintiff’s medical expenses, property repairs, lost wages, and other damages for releasing the insurance company from any further liability. If a car accident case settles, it comes to an end without having to go to court.

A settlement can be a fast and efficient way to resolve a car accident liability claim in Florida. Most settlements take just a few weeks to complete, as Florida is a no-fault state that does not require claimants to prove fault. A personal injury court case, on the other hand, can take 12 months or longer to complete. A settlement with an insurance company can save you money in court costs and attorney’s fees. It also allows you to remain in charge of the outcome of your claim and removes the stress of going to trial.

Insurance settlements are possible in the majority of car accident cases. However, no two car accident cases are exactly alike. There is a possibility that your car accident case will have to go to trial, especially if it involves complicated factors such as your comparative negligence, multiple defendants, an argument over liability, catastrophic injuries or wrongful death. A lawyer can help you decide whether it is in your best interest to reach a settlement with the insurance company or proceed to a car accident trial in Florida.

Should You Settle or Go to Court?

Although settling your car accident case can come with many benefits, it may not be what is right for you and your claim depending on the circumstances. If an auto insurance company refuses to properly evaluate your claim and is offering an inadequate amount for your injuries and losses, for instance, you may have no choice but to take the insurer to trial to receive fair and full financial compensation.

In some scenarios, a car accident lawsuit before a judge and jury can result in greater financial compensation for your damages than an insurance settlement. The insurance company may offer you far less in a lump sum or structured settlement than the court orders it to pay you in a judgment award. You could be eligible for pain and suffering damages in a car accident court case, for example.

Under Florida’s no-fault law, bringing a lawsuit against an at-fault party is only possible in a car accident claim if you have serious bodily injuries, such as broken bones, traumatic brain damage or a spinal cord injury. If your car accident lawyer believes you could obtain better results by going to court, he or she may recommend this route for your particular case.

Discuss Your Case in Detail With a Car Accident Lawyer in Tampa, FL

Only a car accident attorney has enough experience to accurately answer questions about whether or not you have to go to court after a car accident. You can trust the advice received from an attorney, as he or she will want to optimize your case results. An auto insurance provider, on the other hand, will want to diminish your settlement as much as possible to profit its investors.

A lawyer can carefully review your claim, provide legal advice, and represent you during settlement negotiations or an injury trial on your behalf. Contact a car accident lawyer in Tampa, Florida today for more information.

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