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Do I Have to Go to Court After a Car Accident?

Car accidents can be a scary experience in the aftermath can be incredibly confusing. If you or a loved one have been injured or sustained property damage in a car accident, you are likely wondering what the next steps will be. No two car accidents are the same. The facts of each crash are different, and there are various routes a person may need to take in order to secure compensation for their injury and property damage expenses. Yes, there is a possibility that your car accident case may go to trial. This means you would end up in court. However, that is not usually the first step.

The Aftermath of a Car Accident

When a car accident happens, you will likely be speaking with many different people, including police officers, doctors, and mechanics. While this is all ongoing, you will also be dealing with insurance carriers – yours and the other driver’s carrier.

That is where the settlement process begins. At this point, you should have already spoken to an attorney who can help you deal with insurance carriers. They are not your friend and will actively work to lower any settlement amount they will pay out to you. The majority of car accident cases are settled out of court and without a personal injury lawsuit having to be filed. If the other driver was at fault for the crash, in most cases, your attorney will be able to negotiate a fair settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier to cover all of your injury and property damage-related expenses.

However, the other driver’s insurance carrier may deny a claim or offer a settlement that is far too low. In these cases, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver and their insurance carrier in order to recover the compensation you deserve.

Your car accident case will also be more likely to go to trial if the other side is claiming that you or partially or fully responsible for the accident. California operates under a “pure comparative negligence” rule, which means that your settlement can be reduced if you are found to be partially responsible for the accident.

You Should Talk to An Attorney Soon After a Crash Occurs

Anytime there are injuries that resulted from a car accident, you should consider speaking with a qualified Sacramento car accident lawyer. Skilled attorneys will understand the entire accident settlement process and will be able to guide you towards the best possible path for you to receive maximum compensation. Your attorney will also be able to gather all of the evidence required to prove the other driver’s negligence.

They will know whether or not it will be necessary to go to court and will guide you through that process. The good news is that most car accident attorneys take in these cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not have to pay any legal fees until your attorney obtains a favorable verdict or settlement on your behalf.

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), there were 273,069 total car accident injuries across the state during the latest reporting year. Car accidents are not uncommon, but you need to be sure you are protected in the aftermath of a crash.