How Often Do Car Accident Claims Go to Court?

November 16, 2023 | David Abels
How Often Do Car Accident Claims Go to Court?

If you sustained injuries in a recent car accident that a negligent driver caused, you can file a personal injury claim with the responsible driver's insurer. Most personal injury cases involving car accidents eventually settle out of court because of the increased financial costs, not to mention the significant amount of time associated with litigating a case.

However, if the insurance company refuses to offer you fair monetary compensation, taking your case to a civil jury trial or binding arbitration proceedings may be the best option.

As soon as possible after your car accident, you should consult with an experienced Waukegan personal injury attorney in your area. Your lawyer can explore all potential legal options with you and determine whether settlement or litigation is better for your unique case.

Whatever you decide, your lawyer will handle every step of the process, aggressively advocate for your legal interests, and achieve the highest possible settlement offer or litigation result in your car accident case.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation Today!

How Often Do Car Accident Claims Go to Court

What Types of Car Crashes Result from the Negligence of Other Drivers?

When drivers violate traffic laws and otherwise drive carelessly and recklessly, they may bring about several different types of accidents.

The most common car crashes that result from driver error and negligence include:

  • Head-on crashes, where a driver negligently causes their vehicle to strike the front of an oncoming vehicle, such as by crossing the double centerline or passing another vehicle in a no-passing zone
  • Rear-end accidents, where the front of one vehicle hits the back of another vehicle, usually because the at-fault driver fails to allow enough stopping distance and exceeds the speed limit
  • Sideswipe accidents, where a driver negligently causes their vehicle to drift into an adjacent travel lane and strike the side of another vehicle in that lane
  • T-bone or broadside accidents, where a driver does not yield the right-of-way to intersecting traffic and negligently causes their vehicle to hit the side of another vehicle

The force of one of these collisions may cause an accident victim's body to move inside their vehicle from side to side, frontwards, and backward. Additionally, a part of the accident victim's body, such as their head, elbow, knee, or shoulder, might strike something inside the vehicle, such as the steering wheel cover, headrest, door, or window, bringing severe injuries.

If you sustained injuries in a recent car crash, your lawyer can investigate the circumstances of your accident and go over all of your legal options with you. They may then file a personal injury claim on your behalf with the appropriate insurance company and pursue the full monetary compensation you need for your accident-related losses.

Common Causes of Local Car Accidents

Local car accidents are frequently the result of driver error and negligence. When drivers commit serious mistakes while behind the wheel, they significantly increase the likelihood of causing an accident, leading to various injuries and damages.

One of the most common causes of local car accidents is distracted driving. People drive distractedly when they do not watch the road attentively. Instead of watching the road, they might pay attention to a GPS or cell phone. Additionally, passengers may distract a driver from watching the road by engaging in horseplay or roughhousing.

The driver may also become distracted when they listen to loud music, eat while driving, apply makeup, or comb their hair. These activities may cause a driver to take their eyes and mind off the road, leading to a severe car accident.

Local automobile accidents frequently occur when drivers violate standard driving procedures and traffic laws. For example, they may speed, fail to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles and pedestrians at the proper times, fail to use their turn signals, fail to use their mirrors, and fail to use technological devices on their vehicles, such as lane-change warnings and back-up cameras.

Other auto accidents occur when people drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When a passenger vehicle driver has a BAC of 0.08 percent or greater, a police officer may arrest them for driving under the influence or DUI.

A DUI conviction may subject an offending driver to criminal penalties, civil fines, and administrative penalties, including a temporary loss of their license. In addition, if a convicted drunk driver causes an accident that leads to others' injuries, they may have to pay the accident victim monetary compensation through their insurance company.

Intoxicated driving is extremely dangerous because it can severely affect a driver's ability to drive carefully and safely. For example, an intoxicated driver might experience dizziness, blurred vision, and other physical symptoms, preventing them from seeing another vehicle, cyclist, or pedestrian.

Disorientation,the inability to judge distances between vehicles, and delayed reflexes and reaction time prevent intoxicated drivers from stopping in time to avoid a crash.

Finally, some local auto accidents result from road rage, where people drive recklessly or egregiously. Some of the most common manifestations of road rage include tailgating other vehicles, weaving in and out of heavy traffic without using a turn signal, cutting off other vehicles in traffic, and excessive speeding.

If you suffered injuries in a car accident that resulted from another driver's reckless or negligent behavior, you are not alone. However, to preserve your legal right to monetary recovery, seek an experienced attorney who can represent you immediately.

Your lawyer can gather evidence, assemble a settlement demand package on your behalf, and forward that demand package to the insurance company in pursuit of a favorable settlement offer.

Driver and Passenger Injuries in Car Accidents

When negligent drivers cause motor vehicle accidents, drivers and passengers on the receiving end may suffer severe injuries and need ongoing medical treatment. 

The injuries that an accident victim suffers will largely depend on the severity of the accident itself, along with the force of the collision, the number of collisions that happen, and the accident victim's bodily movements at the time of impact.

In some cases, a car accident victim may suffer a permanent injury. Unlike most injuries that recover over a period of time, a permanent injury is lifelong. It may cause the accident victim to experience ongoing symptoms, including pain, for the rest of their life.

Some of the most common injuries that car accident victims sustain include bruises from seatbelts and airbag deployment, open lacerations, spinal cord injuries, complete and incomplete paralysis injuries, soft tissue injuries, rib fractures, broken bones, internal bleeding or organ damage, traumatic head and brain injuries, mouth and teeth Injuries, facial contusions, eye injuries, and death.

If you suffered any of these injuries in a recent car accident, you must follow through with all medical treatment recommendations to fully recover. For example, depending on your injuries, you might need to attend physical therapy sessions, consult a specialist, or undergo a specific medical procedure.

While you focus on treating your injuries, your car accident attorney can start gathering the evidence necessary to assemble a demand package and present it to the insurance company adjuster who is handling your case.

Recovering Monetary Damages from a Car Accident

Depending on the nature and extent of their injuries, medical treatment, and related costs, car accident victims may receive various monetary damages. Those damages may include compensation for pain and suffering, inconvenience, related medical expenses, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, loss of spousal consortium and companionship, lost quality of life, loss of the ability to use a body part, permanent disability or disfigurement, and long-term or lifetime care costs.

An insurance adjuster may try to tell you what your losses are worth, though you should not rely on their assessment. Insurance companies will undervalue your claim - sometimes by a lot.

Your lawyer can determine which monetary damages you may recover in your case and can pursue the maximum amount of compensation available on your behalf.

Settling a Car Accident Claim Out of Court

Before filing a lawsuit after a car accident, an experienced car accident attorney can file a claim, usually with the at-fault driver's insurance company, on your behalf. The settlement negotiation process starts when your lawyer submits a settlement demand package to the adjuster handling your case.

That package will include a formal settlement demand letter, which makes a demand for settlement within the applicable insurance policy limits.

It will also include various documents that support your claim, including police reports, witness contact information and statements, medical bills, medical records, lost-wage documentation, injury photographs, and property damage photographs. 

The insurance company will use this information to evaluate your claim and make a settlement offer.

Initial settlement offers are frequently far less than the actual value of a car accident case. This is because insurance companies and their adjusters are not interested in fairly compensating you for your injuries. Rather, they want to be done with your case by settling it quickly and cheaply.

The less money an insurance company has to pay you, the more money they can keep in-house for themselves. To undervalue your claim, an adjuster might scrutinize your medical records and try to explain away your injuries, such as by arguing that they are preexisting or otherwise unrelated to the car accident.

Your car accident lawyer can retain a medical expert who can causally relate your claimed injuries to the car crash. Your lawyer may also point to pertinent medical documentation and other evidence supporting your claim. If the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly, your lawyer can threaten them with litigation and, if necessary, file a lawsuit in court.

Potential Litigation Options After a Car Accident

Litigation Options after a car accident

The litigation process will begin when your lawyer files a lawsuit in the state court system following your car accident. Given the time it takes to litigate your case and the costs associated with litigation, most car accident cases settle at some point out of court. Your lawyer can handle every step of the litigation process and represent you at all proceedings, including settlement conferences and jury trials.

If you take your case to a civil jury trial, a jury will decide what monetary damages you will receive for your injuries. However, as an alternative to a jury trial, your lawyer can pursue alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, options, such as binding arbitration or mediation.

For example, at a binding arbitration hearing, a neutral arbitrator, rather than a judge or jury, reviews the evidence and decides the issue of monetary damages. Moreover, an arbitration proceeding takes place out of a courtroom setting and is far less intimidating.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Near You Today

Suppose you recently sustained physical injuries in a car accident. In that case, you need to talk with an experienced car accident lawyer in your area as quickly as possible about your legal options for proceeding forward.

Under the statute of limitations, accident victims have only two years from their accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking monetary recovery, absent a few very limited circumstances. Your lawyer can file a claim with the insurance company on your behalf and, if necessary, aggressively litigate your case in court.

Overall, a car accident lawyer offers invaluable peace of mind during a challenging time. They handle complex legal procedures, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for your rights. You can focus on recovery while knowing your case is in capable hands. They gather evidence, assess liability, and fight for fair compensation, ensuring you receive the support you need.

From navigating legal complexities to offering knowledgeable advice, a car accident lawyer provides reassurance and empowers you to move forward confidently.

Lawyers should always offer free consultations, with no obligation to hire them after you meet. This means you have nothing to lose by allowing an attorney to evaluate your rights after a car accident.

David Abels Author Image

David Abels

Partner

David Abels has carved a niche for himself in the personal injury law sector, dedicating a substantial part of his career since 1997 to representing victims of various accidents. With a law practice that spans over two decades, his expertise has been consistently recognized within the legal community.

Author's Bio

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