Will I Have to Go to Court If I File a Car Accident Claim?
Getting hurt in a motor-vehicle collision is enough to threaten most people’s financial security. That doesn’t mean injured parties are always eager to sue for damages, though. Going to trial is inherently stressful, especially when you’re in less than perfect health.
Thankfully, most collision claims don’t actually end up in court. Those that are supported by plenty of evidence are usually settled.
In other words, if you were hurt in a wreck but you’re wary about the hassle that comes with seeking compensation, don’t worry; there’s only a small chance you’ll have to file a formal lawsuit. As long as you have legitimate grounds for action, the liable party should at least be open to negotiating. And if you want to give them additional incentive to settle, you can take the following steps to bolster your claim:
1. Preserve Evidence from the Scene
Building a strong car accident claim starts at the scene. If you managed to obtain any evidence before leaving the area, make copies in case you lose the originals, and then store them in a safe place. Evidence worth saving includes photographs of the wreckage, dash camera footage, and statements from eyewitnesses.
2. Log Damages Diligently
If you can’t prove that you suffered actual damages, the liable party’s carrier won’t be inclined to settle. They’ll know your claim won’t hold up in court, so they’re not going to have any reason to cooperate in order to keep you from filing a formal suit.
If you present bills, invoices, and receipts, on the other hand, the insurance adjuster will have to give your claim some serious consideration. As such, it’s imperative to save any and all documentation that correspond with recoverable damages. Examples include:
- Hospital bills;
- Health insurance statements;
- Paystubs tracking any missed work;
- Quotes from auto body shops for vehicle repairs;
- Invoices for reasonably necessary replacement services; and
- Quote from contractors for home modifications needed to accommodate resulting disabilities.
You can also seek compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment in life. To demonstrate these damages, you will need personal injury journal entries, psychological evaluations, and testimony from loved ones and colleagues who knew you prior to the accident.
3. Enlist Legal Help
If you hire a personal injury attorney to go to bat for you, it will let the insurance adjuster know that you’re determined to recover every dollar you deserve. Seasoned lawyers are essentially professional negotiators, and they’re not going to let anyone take advantage of their clients.
Discuss Your Case with a Car Accident Lawyer in Florida
At Emerson Straw, we’re well-versed in tort law. When someone gets hurt through no fault of their own, they deserve compensation, and we have the knowledge, resources, and experience to help them seek it.
If you were struck by a reckless driver, we’ll gather the evidence needed for you to pursue the maximum payout possible. To schedule a free case review with a car accident attorney in Florida, fill out our Contact Form or call (727) 821-1500.