F0r victims injured in a car accident, compensation for their injuries can be reached through settlement or by trial.
Each year, there are approximately six million car accidents in the United States. Of course, many of these are minor, causing little to no injury. About three million out of the total six million accidents left people with injuries. Another two million out of the total six million left people with permanent injuries.
Car accidents can be devastating, causing major injuries and even death. In 2018, in Minnesota there were 381 fatal car accidents. In the entire United States, there were 33,654 in the same year. This means that Minnesota accounted for approximately 1% of all fatal accidents in 2018. While this may seem like a small amount, Minnesota still deals with a lot of accidents, fatal or not.
When a car accident occurs, the victim of the accident can choose to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. That lawsuit can either end with a settlement or through trial. Deciding whether or not to settle is always a tough choice. But there are many other factors that go into whether or not a case is taken to trial.
When Fault is in Question
If fault is in question, the insurance company may try to offer the lowest possible settlement. It’s also possible that they’ll use your words against you. This is why it’s so important that you only speak to the insurance company when your attorney is present. Anything you say can be used against you later as a reason not to compensate you for your injuries. Even if you mention that you were in a rush, they could twist it to make it seem like you were speeding.
Insurance Companies Make False Assumptions
Insurance companies will often make false assumptions about your case and stick to them as a way of justifying paying you less. They may assume that your injuries weren’t linked to your accident or that your injuries aren’t as serious as you’re making them out to be. For injuries like traumatic brain injuries, that can’t be seen on the outside, they can make this assumption. This again, can be linked to anything that you may have said to the insurance company without an attorney present. If you didn’t receive medical attention right away, they may try to play off of that, saying that your injuries must not have been that serious if you didn’t seek medical attention immediately.
When this happens, these cases often go to trial because the settlement offer is too small, usually not enough to cover even medical bills. When brought in front of a judge and jury, a talented attorney will be able to explain why medical attention was delayed and why your injuries are just as serious.
The Settlement Offer is too Small
Insurance companies are always prepared to offer the least amount of money as possible, hoping that you’ll jump on the quick cash. Even after arguing a higher settlement, some insurance companies won’t budge past a certain point, expecting that the money will be taken to avoid a trial. However, your attorney can help you make the decision about whether or not you should accept the settlement or go to trial. If the settlement is too small, going to trial may be the best option for receiving adequate compensation for your injuries.
You Have a High Chance of Winning
The higher your chance of winning is, the higher your settlement will be. However, if you have a really high chance of winning your claim, you may want to take your case to trial. By doing so, you stand to be awarded more compensation than you would likely receive through a settlement. You may even be able to use this as leverage, getting a higher settlement to avoid going to trial altogether. Your attorney will counsel you on your options and advise you to make decisions in your best interest.
What to Expect if Your Case Goes to Trial
Insurance companies want to avoid going to trial at all costs. It takes up too much of their time and money. Also, the judge may award much more than the insurance company was planning on paying out. For this reason, the insurance company may come back with a much higher offer after a lawsuit is filed.
During pre-trial, your attorney will begin building your case. This process is called discovery. Both sides will get to gather more information about the events leading to your injury. A jury will be selected, and a date for the trial will be set.
After one last chance at mediation, your case will proceed to trial. Both sides will present their cases alone with evidence and witness statements. A closing statement will be made and the judge and jury will make their ruling, along with a decision of how much compensation to award.
Injured in a Minnesota Car Accident? Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, you need a talented attorney by your side. Our attorneys here at Sand Law LLC have years of experience working on car accident cases. And we can help you get the most compensation possible for your injuries. For more information and a free case evaluation, please contact us online or by chat or call us at 651-291-7263.