Do You Have to Go to Court for a Car Accident?

May 7, 2022
Do You Have to Go to Court for a Car Accident? You do not have to go to court to claim the damages caused by a car crash. An ideal way to deal with such a case is by filing an insurance claim. If they offer a meager settlement, you can negotiate a better one by presenting evidence that your damages are worth more. However, if the insurer fails to provide fair compensation, you may be able to file a lawsuit. In this post, we help you determine if it is appropriate to go to court for your car accident case. 

What Should You Do After Sustaining Injuries in a Car Accident?

When injured in a car accident, you should get medical care and file a police report. These measures will ensure you properly document sustained physical harm and all details about the crash. Another vital step after an accident is to contact your insurer and provide information like:
  • The date and time the accident occurred
  • The names of involved motorists
  • The license plate numbers of affected vehicles
  • The insurance details of other drivers
Gathering evidence after a car crash is essential since you will need the information when claiming compensation. Take pictures of vehicle damages, sustained injuries, and displaced debris. Moreover, note the names of the buildings near the scene and the contact details of eyewitnesses.

How Should You Claim Damages Caused by a Car Accident?

Filing a car accident claim will involve various steps. First, establish the party liable for the incident by investigating each action leading to the collision. During this process, determine if the other driver was negligent. You should also confirm if their vehicle was in good condition and assess if external conditions triggered the crash.  Once you identify the liable party, you want to collect evidence that will prove fault. You should also classify all the injuries you sustained and quantify them.  The next step will vary based on your state's laws. If you live in a no-fault state, you will file a claim with your insurance company. If you live in a fault state, you will file a claim with the at-fault party's insurance. Then, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party if your injuries meet a certain threshold and the insurance will not cover your expenses.

How Do You Determine If a Car Accident Settlement Is Enough?

The best way to determine if a settlement is enough is to identify the value of sustained damages. Calculate all medical expenses you incurred due to injuries and ensure you include medication and transport. Further, work with your doctor to identify future health care needs related to your condition. Once you assess medical expenses, determine the value of car damages. Consult your mechanic to calculate the repair costs and evaluate what is cheaper between fixing the vehicle and replacing it. The next step in determining the value of your case is assessing various non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. When you have a proper estimate of damages, compare the value against the provided settlement. You can negotiate with the insurer if the settlement offer is less than your proposed compensation. In this case, you may need to provide additional information to help justify your damages.

What to Do If the Other Driver Involved in the Crash does Not Have Insurance?

In no-fault states, you will file your claim with your insurer. In this instance, it does not matter if the other motorist had insurance. However, if you suffer injuries caused by an uninsured driver in a fault state, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them. You can even try to settle out of court to save time and money. Having uninsured motorist coverage can also protect you from uninsured drivers. 

What Is the Deadline to Seek Reimbursement for Car Accident Damages?

The deadline to file a claim or sue the party liable for a car accident will depend on your state. This aspect is since each region has statutes of limitations governing personal injury cases. Furthermore, some insurance companies require motorists to file a claim within a certain period. Hence, it is always advisable to confirm the grace period indicated on your contract. You should inform your insurer about an accident promptly if you need to file a claim against them.

Which Evidence do You Need for a Car Accident Case?

You must present proof when you file a claim or sue another party for car accident damages. One essential item is a medical report showing the injuries you suffered, and the received treatment. More evidence you can use to build your case includes:
  • Video surveillance footage
  • Car repair receipts
  • A police report
  • Witness statements
  • Results of a breathalyzer test

Consult a Lawyer to Determine If You Have to Go to Court

Consulting a lawyer can help you decide if you should go to court for a car accident. At Dolman Law Group, we will review your case to determine if filing a lawsuit is an appropriate way to proceed. Call Dolman Law Group today for a case assessment.