An accident can be simple or complex. It may result in a range of damages or only a few. When car accidents aren’t just a little fender bender, they may cause extensive damages, including everything from property damage, to medical expenses, to pain and suffering. Car accidents qualify under personal injury law and can in fact often become court-worthy cases.
Can Car Accidents Become Personal Injury Lawsuits?
While many car accident personal injury claims are settled out of court, some do go before a judge or jury. There are a number of factors that can influence when and if a car accident claim must proceed to the next level.
When the other driver’s insurance company offers a fair and just settlement, even if it takes some negotiations, there’s no reason to go to court. When the insurance company fails to offer a good settlement, then a lawsuit is the next step.
Accidents that involve an uninsured or underinsured driver may also go to court, since there may be no other way to recover compensation for damages and personal injuries.
How is Negligence Defined for a Car Accident?
Negligence is a central concept in any personal injury claim. When it comes to car accidents, negligence is defined as carelessness or thoughtlessness while operating a vehicle.
Driver’s have the legal obligation to use caution and ensure their actions protect others from harm. A driver that fails to do so can be held liable for their actions. In other words, they can be found negligent and therefore responsible for any injuries, damages, or harm they cause.
How can a Lawyer Help with a Car Accident Personal Injury Claim?
Although some minor car accidents can successfully be negotiated alone, an attorney can be invaluable with complex negotiations. Even if it is simply an uncooperative or unresponsive insurance claims adjuster, an attorney acting as an intermediary can get things moving forward.
Insurance claims adjusters are responsible for trying to minimize expenses for the insurance company while also placating or satisfying claimants. In other words, the adjuster’s job is to offer you a settlement that is lower than your claim may actually be worth.
An attorney can advise you throughout the settlement negotiation process. They can handle formal communications and ensure you do not accept a settlement without understanding its full implications. If the negotiations fail or the insurance company offers an unjust or unfair settlement, an attorney is needed to file, prepare for, and argue a lawsuit.