The majority of car accident cases are settled out of court via auto insurance claims. However, there are times when negotiations fail, and the case must go to litigation. Below are the two primary reasons car accident cases go to court.
#1: Your Injuries are Being Refuted
Insurance companies function on profit; they less they have to pay out to claimants, the greater their bottom line. Sometimes, an adjuster will refute your injuries, stating that your post-traumatic stress disorder may be fabricated or exaggerated, for example.
In other cases, the insurance company may undermine or minimize the severity your injuries and undervalue your case. Overall, it is best to hold off on calling the insurance company right after your accident.
An insurance company may offer a low sum for the following injuries because it is difficult to get quantifiable evidence for the level of pain they cause you.
- Soft tissue injuries
- Back injuries
- Other injuries that are hard to prove
The insurer might try to offer you a settlement that is far lower that what your claim is worth. Your lawyer can try to negotiate your settlement and provide the insurer with proof of the effect of your injuries. However, if you can’t reach an agreement, the case might have to go to court.
#2: You Opt to Sue
Most car accidents aren’t “accidents” per se; someone usually did something careless or negligent that caused the incident to occur. Pennsylvania is a “choice no-fault” state, which means drivers get to choose which legal options they retain should an accident occur. Many drivers opt for no-fault coverage, which means that if an accident occurs, they simply file a claim with their insurance companies, irrespective of who was at fault. These drivers will not be allowed to file a lawsuit.
Other drivers carry traditional car insurance that offers the right to sue a negligent party after an accident. You may choose to sue if your injuries/damages are so great that the insurance company won’t completely cover it, or if you have substantial emotional damages (something auto policies don’t cover.)
Certain policies have specific rules on when you can sue, so you might need to check with your insurer or an attorney for details. If these types of circumstances apply to you, you may choose to file a lawsuit and go to court.
Can’t resolve your car accident claim? Call Cordisco & Saile LLC
If you were recently involved in a serious car accident, it’s a good idea to run your case by an accident lawyer to fully understand your options. For legal help in Pennsylvania, call Cordisco & Saile LLC. We will listen to your story, take the time to explain your rights, and then help you take whatever action is necessary to maximize your settlement.