Anderson Injury Lawyers | December 4, 2022 | Car Accidents
Don’t let a fear of going to court deter you from seeking compensation for your car crash injuries. Although you may need to file a lawsuit with an appropriate court, the chances of you having to appear in court before a judge for a substantive hearing are relatively small.
When car accident cases go to court, it’s usually to litigate a few particular issues. Litigation refers to arguing facts or the applicable law before a judge or jury. People often try to avoid litigation by agreeing on a settlement, which allows them to avoid the time, expense, and uncertainty of having a judge or jury decide the outcome of their case.
When You May Need To Head to Court
However, some situations call for you and your Fort Worth auto accident attorney to venture into a courtroom to continue advancing your case. Some of the situations that can lead to a court appearance include the following:
You Are Contesting the Issue of Fault
Texas is an at-fault state, which means that the driver who caused the collision will be responsible for paying damages to others hurt in the crash. If the available evidence, reports, and witness statements do not conclusively show who was at fault, you or the other driver may choose to prosecute the case.
Even if you were not primarily responsible for the crash, litigation could ensue if you were also negligent. Under Texas law, your negligence can reduce the size of the compensation award you would otherwise receive. If you and the other party cannot agree on your role in the crash, you may need to go to court.
Your Compensation Needs Are Questionable
Your case may also end up in a courtroom if there are questions about the type or amount of compensation you’re seeking. You can easily claim medical expenses, repair bills, and other expenses that you can support with bills and invoices.
If you are seeking substantial compensation for emotional or mental distress or pursuing punitive damages, they are more difficult to quantify and support. The greater the amount of these payments you seek, the greater the likelihood of litigation.
The Insurance Company Has Denied Your Claim
Finally, you may need to go to court if the insurance company has wrongfully denied your claim. Submitting a claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance company is typically the first step in securing compensation for your losses. In most cases, if a driver is clearly at fault, their insurance company will pay the injured party’s claims up to the policy’s limits.
If the insurance company refuses to pay according to the terms of its policy with its driver, you will need to litigate the denial in court.
How Much Time Will You Spend in Court?
If you must litigate part or all of your claim in court, you may need to attend one or more pretrial conferences in court before your case is ready. Any one of these hearings can take anywhere from ten minutes to an hour or more. A trial may last several days or longer, depending on the complexity of your case.
Settlements Do Away With the Need for Most Court Appearances
If you, the other driver, and their insurance company can all agree on a resolution for the accident, you may never see the inside of a Fort Worth courtroom. If you must go to court, you will receive paperwork indicating the time and date to appear. If an attorney represents you, they will let you know if and when you should attend court.