If going to court for a car accident claim is your major concern about filing a local car accident lawsuit, you should know that the overwhelming majority of cases today, roughly 95% of auto crash claims, are settled out of court long before they ever have to enter a courtroom.
In every local county jurisdiction of each state, pending car crash claims for accident-related damage and injuries are resolved through a noncompulsory claim settlement process, most often with the at fault driver’s insurance company. Currently, only a small number at 5% of local car accidents will end up having to go to court, and furthermore, an even smaller number will ever go to a trial in order to reach an ideal accident claim settlement.
Being in a car accident is bad enough, but having to wait on a settlement can be a significant problem for the person suffering the losses. Medical bills are adding up, your car needs to be repaired, and, of course, there is the lost work wages. This can add a lot of unneeded stress to your life, and a long, drawn-out lawsuit is the last thing you need. Fortunately, the best free lawyer nearby for auto accident claims can help immediately with a case as well as provide expert legal advice at no cost.
Even though the vast majority of recent car accident claim cases do not ever make it to court today, some will be necessary in extremely serious or complicated auto wreck lawsuit cases. These local major vehicle crash lawsuit claims are typically cases which fall into these legal categories:
- Complex auto crash case with severe injuries or causing death
- At fault driver or auto insurance company not responding
- Vehicle collison case when the at fault defendant is denying liability
- Local car accident case where a claimant is seeking an interim payment option
What is an interim payment in a car accident claim lawsuit? When approved by the court, an interim payment means an immediate payment for an urgent need, usually for injury care and treatment caused by the vehicle crash. This is a sum of money to be given in advance to a car accident claimant from the total amount of settlement compensation a person will get at the end of their auto wreck injury claim case.
What is the Average Car Accident Settlement?
Obviously, this is going to depend on the type of case that you have. When you discuss this with your attorney, you are far better off getting very specific, meaning how much is the average settlement for an auto accident with minor injury, or where permanent injury occurred… you get the idea, I am sure.
Having said that, car accidents with minor injuries are usually settled for less than $15,0000, with many of them falling in under $5,000. Those numbers go up considerably when there are serious injuries involved. A ballpark for figure for auto accidents with serious injuries would be $30,000 to $50,000, but even that can be low based on the injuries incurred.
You will also want to check on whether your state has maximum award amounts for auto accidents, such as a state like Texas. Cases in states that have limits can drive down the average settlement rate.
Auto Accident Settlement Timeline
We will pick this up after the police have been called and all evidence has been collected from the scene. The first thing you need to do is call your insurance company and let them know that you were involved in an accident. You should not be signing any settlement forms or agreements at this point, you are just informing them what happened.
The next step should be to contact an auto accident/personal injury attorney. Your attorney will ensure you go down the right path, especially in terms of legal filings, dealing with the insurance company, and making arrangements for bills to be paid related to the accident.
After all the reports have been gathered, your attorney will draft a demand letter for the opposing insurance company. This letter presents the facts of the case to the opposing party. The goal here is to get a quick settlement, but it will more than likely result in a counteroffer from the defendant’s insurance company.
This is where the bargaining process begins, and why you need an attorney. The opposing party will likely counter with a significantly lower offer than what your attorney proposes, but this is all part of the process. The hope from the opposing side is that you are desperate and will take the first offer that comes your way. You should know that in the overwhelming majority of cases, the first offer is far from the best offer you will get from this company.
This process will play out until you receive an offer your attorney believes is fair or it will head to court. As noted above, trial is a very rare exception in car accident lawsuits, so you can expect the case to settle long before a trial is even a possibility.
Why Do Car Accident Cases Go to Trial?
The simple answer here is that the defendant and plaintiff were unable to come to an agreement through negotiation or the defendant’s legal team/insurance company believes there is not enough evidence to warrant a settlement.
Something to keep in mind is that while the plaintiff’s attorney is working on a contingency fee, the defendant is likely paying his or her attorney by the hour. Point being, it is in the interest of the opposing attorney to extend the case as long as possible, so do not be alarmed if the case goes to trial. Again, your attorney will help guide you down this path in terms of trial being too risky or something that can lead to a much larger settlement.
What Happens at Trial?
If the case does go to trial, it will process along this timeline:
- Jury selection
- Opening statements
- Plaintiff presents case
- Defendant presents case
- Closing arguments
- Jury deliberation
Once the verdict is reached, assuming the verdict is in your favor, the defendant can either appeal the decision or pay within the allotted time by the court.
Hire a Local Car Accident Attorney to Get a Settlement Out of Court
If you were recently involved in an auto accident and need a local personal injury attorney specializing in area car accident cases, give us a call at 855-633-0888. Our team of legal professionals for auto accident claims will discuss your case at no charge to you, and help with expert free legal advice settling a car accident claim lawsuit out of court. Additionally, you are under no obligation to use our legal services for talking to us.
Remember, every state has a statute of limitations on how long you have to file a case, so the sooner you file, the better. In most locations for an auto wreck claim today, a claimant will have up to three years to seek top settlement compensation, starting from the date of the collision, to get your car accident case started in the local county court system
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and Injury law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any injuries from vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, and medical malpractice.