No one wants to have to bring their car accident case to court. However, sometimes it becomes necessary. With help from an experienced car accident attorney, you can find out whether you have the option of settling your case without a trial.
In many cases, by working with the insurance company, you can get a significant amount of your injuries and damages covered. However, anything the insurance company does not take care of will result in excess damages. When this happens, going to trial may be your best option.
Grounds for Legal Action After a Car Accident
Before you can proceed with a car accident lawsuit, you need to find out whether you have met the criteria necessary to warrant legal action. Many victims are quick to assume that they need to have been diagnosed with a debilitating injury or suffered life-threatening injuries or damages before they can file a lawsuit.
However, this is not the case. Instead, your ability to file a car accident insurance or civil claim will be based on how severely your life has been affected by your car accident or resulting injuries.
With that being said, some types of injuries are more impactful than others. For example, if you were diagnosed with brain trauma, your life would likely be impacted more than someone who suffered only minor bumps and bruises. Some examples of injuries that often go to court include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Amputation injuries
- Emotional injuries
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How the Car Accident Claims Process Works
To understand when your case might have to go to court, it is crucial to be prepared for the car accident claims process. Every person’s case is different, but the process for each case is generally the same. It includes:
- Hiring a car accident attorney to investigate the cause of your car accident
- Identifying the liable party and gathering powerful evidence to prove their liability and negligence
- Reviewing your damages to calculate the value of your claim accurately
- Determining whether the at-fault party has insurance coverage and negotiating with insurance adjusters
- Filing a car accident lawsuit if the insurance coverage does not sufficiently meet your needs
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Filing a Car Accident Insurance Claim
One of the primary ways to recover compensation after a car accident is by filing a claim with the insurance company. Auto insurance coverage is designed to protect those who cause accidents from financial liability. Depending on how much car insurance the injury victim or liable party purchased, the victim may be entitled to compensation based on these coverage types and amounts.
Fault Vs. No-Fault Laws
The insurance laws in the state you live in will determine whether you file a claim with your insurance company or that of the liable party. In states that follow fault insurance laws, the responsible party’s insurance provider is required to compensate injury victims for their damages.
However, in no-fault insurance states, no matter who is responsible for causing the accident, victims file a claim with their insurance provider through their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
Insurance Adjuster Tactics
Unfortunately, insurance adjusters are not known for prioritizing car accident victims’ needs. They resort to many unscrupulous tactics to take advantage of claimants during some of the most challenging times in their lives.
Whether they are misrepresenting the policy terms, delaying the claim processing, or accusing them of sharing liability for the accident, they will do everything possible to reduce their profit losses. Since insurance companies make money by paying out less in claims than they do through insurance premiums, it is crucial to minimize these payouts wherever possible.
Having a car accident attorney on your side is one of the best ways to protect yourself from being wronged by money-hungry insurers.
What Car Accident Damages Are Covered by the Insurance Company
It is also important to remember that insurance is unlikely to cover your damages entirely. In fact, you can expect the insurance company to compensate you for only the types of amounts of coverage included in the policyholder’s policy. Whether you file a claim with your insurer or that of the liable party, there are coverage limits in place. This means the insurer will only likely need to cover your medical bills and property damages.
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What to Expect in Court
Unfortunately, going to trial is often inevitable. Insurance companies only cover damages that have financial value in most cases and only up to the maximum amount of coverage the policyholder purchased. This means it is likely you will have access to damages the insurance company is not required to cover with compensation.
Even if you get the insurance company to write you a settlement check for the maximum amount allowable, it still may not be enough to cover your damages. If the insurance company is handling your claim in bad faith, the amount could be even less.
For this reason, bringing your car accident case to court may be in your best interests. This is a great opportunity to seek maximum restitution for your losses and ensure the at-fault party is brought to justice.
Damages You Can Fight For
At trial, you are not limited to merely economic loss recovery. You can also recover compensation for non-economic damages. This might include:
- Chronic pain
- Physical suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress and trauma
- Disfiguring injuries
- Diminished quality of life
- Skin scars
- Embarrassment, shock, or fear
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Meet with a Car Accident Lawyer at GKBM Today
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to avoid bringing your car accident case to court. Although you are under no legal obligation to go to trial, when you do, you have a better opportunity to recoup your damages in full.
Learn more about how much you could recover through your insurance claim and in court when you reach out to a reputable car accident attorney at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC. Our firm proudly offers no-cost, risk-free consultations to car accident victims across several states. Please take advantage of this opportunity by filling out our quick contact form or calling our office to schedule yours as soon as today.