Car accidents can be frightening, confusing, and overwhelming events. The aftermath of an accident can be stressful since you might have to gather evidence, keep track of damages, and file a compensation claim. As you navigate the claims process, you may find yourself asking: “Do I have to go to court after filing a car accident claim?”
Fortunately, most car accident claims settle outside the courtroom. However, you will need the experience of a Florida car accident attorney on your side to receive a fair settlement. Insurance companies may try to take advantage of you without an injury lawyer by offering you low settlements or employing tactics to deny your claim. When you file a car accident claim against a negligent driver in Florida, contact Marsalisi Law.
Reasons Why a Car Accident Claim May Go to Court
Even though you may settle with an insurance company outside of court, the case may still go to trial. This may happen for various reasons, but some of the most common include the insurance company refusing to settle, the at-fault driver not having insurance, or neither party agreeing who is liable.
The Insurance Company Refuses to Settle
By the time you consider bringing your case to court, you and your St. Petersburg car accident attorney have likely been negotiating settlements with the insurance company for a while. Remember, insurance companies will always initially offer low settlements that might not come close to the full extent of your damages. A lawyer might be able to negotiate for a fairer settlement.
However, the insurance company still might not offer a fair amount even with an attorney on your side. Additionally, they may try to blame you for some or all of the accident to reduce your compensation further. In this instance, your attorney might suggest taking the case to court.
The Other Driver Does Not Have Insurance
You might want to take the other driver to court if they are uninsured or underinsured. When the other driver does not have sufficient insurance, you might not be able to secure fair compensation for your losses. However, you must remember that the problem with taking an uninsured driver to court is that they may not have funds or assets to draw on. That is why they may have been driving without adequate insurance. Therefore, your options may be limited in how you obtain compensation, but this might be why you take the case to trial.
Neither Party Can Agree Who Is at Fault
If neither party can agree on who is at fault, the case might end up in front of a judge or jury. In that case, your attorney will present evidence proving that you are not at fault for the accident. You must also remember that Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning that a court will reduce your compensation by the percentage of fault you are for causing the accident. For example, if a court determines you are 20% responsible, you may collect up to 80% of damages.
Tips to Avoid Going to Trial for a Car Accident Claim
While going to trial might be inevitable in some instances, there may be ways to reduce your chances of going to court. Some ways to do this include:
- Reporting the accident to the police;
- Taking photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and vehicle damage;
- Seeking medical care as soon as possible;
- Keeping track of all expenses, such as medical bills, receipts, and invoices; and
- Speaking to a car accident lawyer immediately.
Ultimately, the more you and your injury attorney can strengthen your case, the better chance you have of receiving a fair settlement from the insurance company.
Speak to a Skilled St. Petersburg Car Accident Attorney Today
If you were in a car accident in St. Petersburg, contact Marsalisi Law. Attorney Frank P. Marsalisi is an experienced car accident attorney who will be with you every step of the way during this challenging and stressful time. His top priority is protecting your legal rights and ensuring you understand the claims process. To learn more about how Attorney Marsalisi can help you, call (727) 800-5052 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Marsalisi Law Is Where Law Gets Personal!