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

When you decide to pursue a personal injury claim following a car accident, there is the possibility that you could settle your claim without ever going to court. In fact, many cases settle before a lawsuit is ever filed.

However, some cases will inevitably lead to a trial. Unfortunately, there is no way to know if your claim will settle quickly. Yet, there are essential steps you can take to increase the chance of quickly resolving your claim.

The right legal counsel could increase your chances of a favorable outcome. Contact us to discuss your options with a Pittsburgh personal injury attorney.

How injury lawsuits are resolved

There are two ways a Pittsburgh car accident attorney could resolve your injury claim. The first is through a negotiated settlement. The second is by taking the case to trial.

There are many factors that go into whether a case might settle or not. If the other driver insists, they were not at fault; a settlement might not be an option.

The same is true if the driver was uninsured and lacks the resources to resolve the case. In some instances, both sides will agree that the defendant is liable but differ on the amount of damages necessary to compensate the plaintiff.

When insurance companies settle claims

A settlement could be possible from the moment a plaintiff’s attorney takes on a case. While they rarely come together that quickly, some are resolved in a matter of days.

Typically, the process begins with the plaintiff’s attorney providing the defendant or their insurer with a demand letter. These letters lay out the plaintiff’s belief that they are entitled to compensation and lists the amount necessary to avoid a lawsuit.

There are cases that settle shortly after the demand letter. Generally, the higher the amount, the less likely it is to be resolved immediately. If negotiations stall out, it may become necessary to file suit.

Filing a lawsuit

Filing a lawsuit does not guarantee that you must appear in court. A claim can take months or even years to resolve, and your appearance will not be necessary at the vast majority of hearings.

Further, settlement talks often continue throughout litigation. While it is unlikely that you will need to appear in court during the early part of a lawsuit, you may have to be deposed.

Typically, a deposition involves you, your attorney, and the defendant’s lawyer sitting down with a court reporter. During this time, both lawyers can ask you questions and have you review documents.

When trials occur

It is possible to reach a settlement until the eve of trial. If this does not happen, you can expect to be called to testify. Unlike a criminal case, you must take the stand, if you are served with a subpoena by the defense. Therefore, if your case is set for trial, you can expect to go to court.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation

We are experienced at aggressively moving cases forward. It is our belief that by continually working on your claim, we increase the chance of a substantial settlement. Schedule a free consultation with us to learn more.