If you have been in a car accident in Virginia, you may be wondering if your case will go to trial. After all, you've probably heard all kinds of stories about car accidents cases and claims ending up in court. But what is the truth?
As a practicing personal injury lawyer (that means I handle accident and injury cases, including car accidents), I've had a lot of car accident cases come through my office. The truth of the matter is that most cases won't ever go to trial - they will end up in a settlement instead.
So why don't most cases end up in trial? There are few reasons.
- The claim is fairly small and easy to settle, like in a property damage only case (ex. the only damage that occurred was a scrape on your fender). These kinds of small cases can sometimes even be settled by you, the victim.
- Usually the other driver's insurance company will try to settle the case before it ends up in court.
- Sometimes the insurance company just uses the threat of trial as leverage in negotiating. We've seen cases settle the Friday before a Monday trial.
However, there are car accident cases that do go to trial. Below are two commonalities among cases that end up in court. Of course, we always recommend that you speak to an experienced, board-certified injury attorney before making a decision about your case. Virginia residents can call us at (703)584-7277 to talk with our team of experts about your case.
- There is a major dispute over who is at fault in the case. In Virginia, there is a strict "contributory negligence" policy that can affect your claim if you are perceived to have been partly at fault for it. Again, call us if you are a Virginia resident and have a question about this issue.
- The damages are particularly high. This may be due to extensive medical treatment or other extreme factors.
Make sure you educate yourself as much as possible when making a decision about your case. If it seems like the kind of case that may need to go to trial, you can order our free report on car accident cases in Virginia or call our office at (703)584-7277 to speak with my team.