There are many benefits to working with an experienced lawyer after a car crash. Unfortunately, many accident victims decide against calling a lawyer because they think they will need to go to court to obtain compensation.
This is a common misconception people have about calling a lawyer. Below, we discuss how often car accident cases go to trial, why some cases end up in court, the phases of a lawsuit, and why cases settle.
If you were injured in a crash caused by a negligent driver and need compensation, call Sigman Janssen to learn how we may be able to assist you. There are no upfront legal fees or costs, and the initial consultation with an Appleton auto accident lawyer is free.
Contact Sigman Janssen: (877) 888-5201. We have secured millions for crash victims.
What Percentage of Car Accident Cases Go to Trial?
There are no exact figures, but it is generally accepted that a very small percentage of car accident cases go to trial – the number may be less than five (5%) percent.
To put these numbers into perspective, consider that there are millions of car accidents each year and about half of those crashes result in injuries. Only a couple hundred thousand of those incidents result in lawsuits. Of those that end up in lawsuits, a large majority of those will eventually settle before going to court.
The bottom line is there is a small chance you will end up in a courtroom if you hire a lawyer for your car accident claim.
Why Do Many Cases Settle?
There are a few main reasons why most car accident cases settle. For example, some crash victims decide not to hire a lawyer and they settle with the liable insurance company for far less than their case may be worth.
However, even if you hire a lawyer, there is still a high probability the insurance company will eventually settle. One reason for this is that insurance companies prefer to avoid the added time and expense of a courtroom trial.
While the legal proceeding itself is expensive, there is a chance the jury will award more compensation than the insurance company would like to pay. Even if an insurance company needs to increase its offer to meet the victim’s demands, the cost is likely to be less than the amount a jury might award at trial.
Insurance companies may be more likely to settle when they think they are likely to lose in court. Insurers are more likely to think they will lose if the victim is represented by an experienced lawyer from a well-respected law firm. In fact, most lawyers are not going to take a case unless they think there is a good chance that they can recover a favorable settlement or win in court. This can have a strong influence on the insurance company’s desire to settle the case.
What Are the Benefits of Settling?
One of the main benefits of settling a case is that the victim recovers compensation more quickly. Court cases take much longer than settlements. There is also uncertainty about going to trial. When you settle, you know you will be getting compensation. If you go to court, there is a chance the jury will award less compensation than you need.
Why Do Some Cases Make it to Court?
Some cases may be more likely to end up in court, such as cases where:
Fault Is in Dispute
The insurance company may blame the accident on the victim or assign him or her an unreasonable amount of fault. While this might make sense with some accidents, insurance companies may do this when it seems totally unreasonable and unsupported by the evidence.
The Victim Suffered Severe Injuries
Crash victims with severe injuries are going to need significant compensation. Despite the seriousness of the situation, the insurance company will still try to pay as little as possible. The insurance company and the victim’s attorney may be far apart in the case value evaluation. At a certain point, the attorney’s only option may be to file a lawsuit.
What Are the Phases of a Car Accident Lawsuit?
There are several steps that precede a courtroom trial, which is one of the reasons lawsuits take longer than settlements.
Once a lawsuit is filed and a court date is set, discovery can begin. This is the process whereby both sides gather evidence, talk to witnesses, research relevant laws and take other steps to build their cases. After discovery, the judge who is managing the case may order mediation. This is an effort to reach a settlement so a trial will not be necessary.
If mediation is unsuccessful, the case will proceed to trial. A jury will be selected and a trial can begin where both sides will present their cases.
How Long Is a Trial For a Car Accident Case?
The trial itself may last a few days or even a few weeks. The duration is dependent on various aspects of the case, such as:
- The strength of the cases presented
- If fault is shared
- The seriousness of your injuries
- The number of victims involved
- Credibility of witnesses
- And other factors
What Can I Do To Speed Up the Legal Process?
The most important step you can take to speed up the legal process is to call an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you call, the sooner a lawyer can get to work pursuing the compensation you need.
Evidence can get lost if you do not act quickly. There is also a deadline for filing a lawsuit. Additionally, lawyers need time to build a case, so it is important to call as soon as possible. Some victims call from the scene of an accident or even from the hospital once their injuries have been stabilized.
Call To Discuss Your Wisconsin Auto Accident Claim
Most cases settle out of court with no need for a trial. When you hire an experienced lawyer, he or she can manage the settlement process on your behalf. That means you do not need to deal with the insurance company, determine the value of your damages, or take care of the many other details of the legal process.
Sigman Janssen has decades of experience and we have helped thousands of crash victims recover the compensation they needed.
We are here to help you with the legal process. Give us a call: (877) 888-5201.