When you file an auto accident claim, it should be your hope that it will settle out of court. Going to trial can be very time-consuming and stressful. That being said, you should make sure your attorney is prepared to go to trial on your behalf.
Some other attorneys refer their cases to other lawyers as soon as it could potentially go to court. Insurance adjusters know this, and will delay your claim, knowing that your attorney isn’t willing to go all the way.
It is impossible to predict whether your case will be settled or will go to trial, but here are some factors that can influence whether or not you will be able to reach a settlement:
Is liability clear?
Accidents where liability is difficult to assess, or where there are two different versions of the facts, will be more likely to go to trial, but this doesn’t mean you should feel discouraged. You just need an attorney who is going to fight to make sure the insurance company and the court hears your version of the facts.
Did the other driver leave the scene?
Accidents where there is no defendant can be difficult to settle because the insurance company will often question the validity of the claim. With an experienced attorney on your side, you can make sure that you have all of the necessary evidence.
Are your medical issues properly documented?
When you have organized medical records that properly document your injury, you will be more likely to get a settlement. Sometimes medical records being poorly drafted is not your fault. This is why you need an attorney to take a deposition of your doctor if necessary, and to organize and request medical records to be used as evidence in your case.
Did you file your claim as soon as possible?
If you are close to your statute of limitations or if you did not report your accident in a timely manner your case will be more likely to go to trial.
Is the insurance company being reasonable?
Finally, there is one factor in your car accident case that is the wild card: the insurance company. Sometimes, there is no real reason as to why some cases are settled and others go to court. Sometimes the insurance company is just plain unreasonable, or wants to make an example out of a claim. In these situations, you need an attorney to keep pressing forward with your case to protect your right to compensation for your injuries.