Will My Car Accident Case Go to Trial?
Not every car accident lawsuit will go to trial. In fact, the vast majority of them are dealt with out of court. However, there is always the possibility that your case could go to trial. For many people, the thought of going to court and testifying on the witness stand is a little intimidating. The best way to be prepared for this possibility is to hire an accomplished car accident attorney who will guide you through the process step by step. An experienced lawyer at Ellis Injury Law will thoroughly prepare you for your court date, enabling you to testify with confidence.
Why some car accident claims are resolved without filing a lawsuit
In some cases, it may not even be necessary to file a lawsuit in order to acquire just compensation for your injuries and property damage. It’s customary to submit a demand letter first. When you work with a personal injury attorney, you’ll be asked to provide all relevant documentation to substantiate your claims and losses. For example, the legal team will need copies of your medical records and vehicle repair estimate, as well as copies of your medical bills and co-pay receipts. These, along with evidence like the police report, will be used to draft a compelling demand letter.
The law firm will submit the demand letter to the insurance company. The demand letter will lay out the facts of the case, explain your losses, and demand a sum of money for those losses. The insurance company may then offer a settlement, which will likely be lower than the amount demanded by the law firm. The two companies will negotiate until your lawyer obtains the highest settlement amount that the insurance company is willing to offer at this point. If you consider this amount to be just compensation, you could decide to accept it. In this case, there would be no need to file a lawsuit.
How car accident lawsuits can get settled out of court
However, insurance carriers aren’t always willing to offer just compensation. They may try to claim that you were completely or partially at fault for the accident, for example. If this happens, then your lawyer can file a lawsuit. However, even if a lawsuit is filed, your case might not necessarily go to trial. A great deal of prep work needs to be done before a trial. The two sides will go through discovery, which is when both sides exchange documents and witnesses are deposed. During the pre-trial part of the litigation process, it is common for both sides to engage in settlement negotiations. At this stage, the insurance carrier may be willing to offer a larger sum of money than previously.
If you decide to accept the settlement offer, the lawsuit will be dropped and your case will not go to trial. If you still think this settlement offer is too low, talk to your lawyer for guidance. Your attorney can discuss whether the settlement offer is fair and about the merits of seeking a higher jury award in court. However, it’s ultimately your decision whether to accept the settlement offer or take your chances with a trial.
Get personalized legal representation at Ellis Injury Law
Although not every car accident case will go to trial, victims can benefit from qualified legal representation. At Ellis Injury Law, our experienced legal team delivers personalized attention and case management services to our valued clients. We’ve recovered more than $350 million on behalf of our injured clients throughout Southern California. Plus, we never charge a legal fee unless we secure a settlement or jury award for you—so there is absolutely no risk involved with scheduling a case review. Call us today to request your free initial consultation with a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles.