WHY DO CAR ACCIDENT CASES RARELY GO TO TRIAL?

A person who has been in a car accident has a lot on his or her plate. Often, a car accident victim is dealing with emotional and physical injuries as well as confusion about what to do next.

While many car accident victims may contemplate filing a claim to recover compensation, some may be hesitant to do so due out of fear about having to go to trial. The good news is that not all cases go to trial or even require the filing of a lawsuit. In fact, most cases are settled out of court.

PREPARING YOUR CASE FOR TRIAL IS ESSENTIAL

While settling a case out of court is ideal, The Law Offices of David E. Gordon prepares each and every case it handles as if it is going to trial. This is because a solidly prepared case gives the law firm leverage when it comes to settlement talks. It assists in arriving at a fair settlement and ultimately avoiding the courtroom.

There are a lot of steps that go into properly preparing auto accident cases for trial, including:

  • Conducting an investigation. The first step in preparing a case is conducting a thorough investigation. An investigation can unearth evidence and clues about how the car accident happened, who is at fault and the types and amount of compensation the victim deserves.
  • Gathering evidence. A key part of any good investigation is gathering evidence. Types of evidence that may be relevant in a car accident case include photos, witness testimony, video footage, physical damage, police reports and medical reports.
  • Consulting with experts. The testimony of experts can provide leverage during settlement talks or a trial. Accident reconstruction experts, forensic specialists, medical experts, vehicle design experts and more may all be called on to help substantiate a claim.

In addition to the above, another key part of preparing for trial is sending a well-prepared demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company.

WHAT YOU SHOULD SEEK IN A SETTLEMENT

Avoiding trial may be highly important to you. After all, going to trial can be emotional and time-consuming. With that said, recovering the funds you deserve is important, too.

When an insurer makes a settlement offer, this offer should not be accepted unless it fully compensates you for all of your damages.

Types of damages that are typically sought in Tennessee auto accident claims include:

  • Reimbursement for medical expenses. You can seek compensation for all money that you have spent on medical expenses related to your injury – in the past and what you are likely to spend in the future.
  • Compensation for lost wages. Often, a car accident victim will suffer an injury that forces him or her to miss work for a prolonged length of time. If you lose wages as a result of a car accident injury, you can seek compensation for this lost income and for income you may lose in the future due to your diminished ability to earn a living.
  • Emotional distress and pain and suffering. Victims of a car accident are also allowed to seek non-economic damages for their pain and suffering. Non-economic damages are capped at $750,000 in most cases. This cap is increased to $1 million if the injury is the loss of a limb, paralysis or severe burns, or if the claim is for the death of the parents of a minor child. You can read more about this cap in the article, “Tennessee Approves Caps on Lawsuit Damages,” published in the Insurance Journal.
  • Punitive damages. Punitive damages are damages that are intended to punish the defendant for his or her malicious and wrongful actions. Punitive damages in Tennessee are capped at $500,000 or two times the amount of compensatory damages – whichever is greater.

Car accidents can be devastating. If you have been involved in a car accident, you may be entitled to some or all of the damage types listed above.

The Law Offices of David E. Gordon will represent you during settlement talks, which involve negotiation and often involve bringing in a mediator to move talks along.

A case will only go to trial in the event that the insurance company refuses to make a reasonable settlement offer. However, settlement talks can continue through trial, and a settlement may be reached even after a trial concludes.

If your case does go to trial, we will represent you every step of the way. While a trial can feel intimidating, we will help you to understand your rights, your obligations during the trial and what to expect.

GET HELP FROM A MEMPHIS CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER

You deserve every penny that you have lost when you have been in a car accident. Unfortunately, the truth is that without an attorney on your side who knows how to seek a just settlement for you, the insurance company will likely offer you far less than you deserve. Unless you are an experienced negotiator yourself, you may wind up getting only a fraction of the money that your claim is really worth.

Attorney David E. Gordon is a Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist who has a long record of helping car accident victims to stand up to insurers.

If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident, we know what it takes to fight for your rights. To learn more about filing a claim, what it means to go to trial for a car accident and the types of damages you may be able to recover, contact us today. We want to hear more about your claim – tell us about it by filling out our online form or calling us directly.