Do You Have to Go to Court for a Personal Injury Claim?

If the defendant denies liability, court proceedings may begin. However, since ongoing negotiations, the case may still settle before going to court.

Being involved in an accident and sustaining injuries may have you thinking about filing a claim against the person at fault for the accident.

However, you may doubt how a personal injury claim works and whether that implies going to court.

The personal injury lawyers at the Grossman Law Offices recommend you do not base your decision on whether or not to file a claim based on an unwarranted fear of ending up in court.

Let your attorney listen to your story and discuss the steps in filing a personal injury claim. You may find out that your case may be settled before the time comes to go to court.

And, should you have to go to court, having a knowledgeable attorney by your side will reassure you that they have built a strong case for your defense and that your attorney is doing everything possible to get you the compensation you deserve.

Every Personal Injury Case Is Different

While some claims are in court, many get resolved before a formal trial becomes necessary. This is because every case is different, and several factors affect how things develop. These may be:

  • The circumstances surrounding the accident
  • Whether the parties involved allege fault
  • The nature, extent, and severity of your injuries and those of the other party, if there are any
  • Whatever evidence is available to back up your claim
  • How contentious the other party is

Your personal injury lawyer will be able to discuss with you at length the likelihood of your case ending up in court. Start by scheduling a free, no-obligation consultation to understand your options better.

How Likely is it That my Personal Injury Claim will end in Court?

Only a tiny percentage of personal injury claims end up in court. Most other cases settle out of court. In general terms, only those very complex cases or where liability cannot be determined end up in court.

Why do Claims Get Settled out of Court?

Before agreeing to work on your case, your attorney will conduct a free case evaluation to establish whether:

  • Your injury took place within the timeframe shown by the statute of limitations
  • The other party is to blame
  • The defendant owed you a duty of care

These elements will help your attorney understand the strength of your case and how much your claim may be worth.

No One Wants to Go to Court

Most parties involved in personal injury disputes are not interested in ending up in court. The reasons are simple: going to court is an expensive and time-consuming process in which the losing side will bear the cost.

Most claims depend on a negotiation between the plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer and the defendant’s insurance company.

While the personal injury attorney will do everything possible to settle the claim in their client’s best interests, the insurance company’s legal team will likely want to pay for the lowest figure.

Despite the differences in their points of view, generally, both parties will do everything in their power to avoid the uncertainty and costs associated with a court hearing.

Since the insurance companies know very well that personal injury attorneys usually work on a contingency basis, meaning that they will not get paid unless their clients win, they may be reluctant to deny liability – much more so if there is a risk that the court would likely find their policyholder liable.

What are the Main Reasons Why Personal Injury Claims go to Court?

There are limited circumstances in which the only option for a claim to get resolved would be to end up in court. Some examples of these cases are:

Extremely Complex Cases

These cases might involve serious work injury claims, medical negligence, injuries to the spinal cord and brain, injuries involving minors, and claims for accidents that result in fatalities.

Defendants or Insurer That Is Unresponsive

A defendant or insurer not responding to a legal complaint may leave no other option to a personal injury attorney but to take the case to court. This way, the defendant is legally obligated to respond.

They may not have legal representation, and if this is the case, the court may appoint one to defend them.

Denial of Liability

If the defendant denies liability, court proceedings may begin. However, since ongoing negotiations, the case may still settle before going to court.

As you can see, you do not need to go to court for a personal injury case. Most do not.


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