Will My Car Accident Injury Claim Go to Court?
San Antonio residents know from experience that car accidents affect many Texans. In fact, the Texas Department of Transportation reports that there was a reported crash every 59 seconds in 2017. If you were in an accident and are considering working with a San Antonio car accident lawyer, you might ask, “Will my car accident injury claim go to court?” In most cases, the answer is “no,” but your path is largely up to you. An attorney can help you review your options and develop an action plan that suits your needs.Why Are Settlements Beneficial?
A settlement is an official agreement to resolve a personal injury case out of court. With car accident cases, the contract involves monetary compensation, which can be rendered in installments or as a one-time payment from insurance companies.
A San Antonio auto injury lawyer might encourage you to settle your case out of court because settlements are resolved quicker than a trial and can benefit both parties in some way. Because each accident is different, there is no blanket settlement value. However, a general rule of thumb is that the more extreme the accident, the higher the settlement will be.
Insurance companies often undervalue settlements to protect their profit margins, which is why a San Antonio car accident lawyer will be an asset in your case. Rather than evaluating your claim at the bare minimum, your attorney will look thoughtfully at your accident-related damages to counter the insurance agency’s initial offer. To come up with a figure, your lawyer takes both special damages (economic) and general damages (non-economic) into account.
Special damages are the measurable expenses you have because of the crash. These damages include, but are not limited to:
- Doctor visits
- Emergency room charges
- Lost wages
General damages, by contrast, relate to the unquantifiable effects of the accident, such as mental anguish and pain and suffering. These qualifiers vary for different people. For example, an elbow injury would likely affect a professional tennis player more extremely than it would a teacher. The former might be able to claim general damages for such an injury, but the latter would have a tougher time making their case.
Contrary to what insurance adjusters might say, there is no formula for determining a settlement. A Carabin Shaw San Antonio auto injury lawyer will have insight into your case and can advocate for your needs with the insurance companies.When Should You Go to Court?
While our lawyers are skilled negotiators, sometimes insurers are intent on undervaluing your claim. When your representation and the insurers reach a stalemate about settlement value, you might wonder, “Will my car accident injury claim go to court?” The answer is up to you. If you feel as though you’ve experienced an injustice, our auto injury lawyers in San Antonio want you to have your day in court because we believe you deserve to be heard.
To initiate proceedings, your lawyer will draft a formal complaint and submit it to the appropriate court. You must also formally serve the other party with a copy of this complaint and give them 20 days to respond. Next, your case enters the discovery process, during which both the defendant and you gather evidence, such as accident reports, medical records, driving records, expert testimonies, and interviews. The final step is the trial, which can occur before a judge or a jury.
The downsides of a trial include both the time—it can take over a year to complete the process—and the money you’ll spend on legal fees. If you think this is the best path for you, though, a San Antonio auto injury lawyer with Carabin Shaw will be on your side until the end.Connect with San Antonio Attorneys
To get in touch with the best auto injury lawyers in San Antonio, call Carabin Shaw. For a free consultation, dial 210-222-2288 or reach us toll-free at 1-800-862-1260.