If I file a personal injury claim, will I have to go to court?

The point of hiring a personal injury attorney is to learn about your rights and have them represent you in court, especially if your injury makes it difficult to show up physically.

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No attorney could ever tell you if your case will go to court or not. Each case is different, and certain factors make cases more complex, so there may be more debate about the facts surrounding the injurious accident. When there is any dispute over who is liable for an accident, It’s much more likely that a case will go to court.

Read More: What is Considered a Personal Injury?

However, the point of hiring a personal injury attorney is to learn about your rights and have them represent you in court, especially if your injury makes it difficult to show up physically. Orange County-based personal injury law firm Roberts & Jeandron Law state that personal injury attorneys fight hard so that their clients don’t have to endure long and agonizing trials. Instead, attorneys prioritize negotiating a fair and just settlement so that their clients get the money they need fast.

Establishing Liability

Personal injury cases are based on negligence. The liable party is the person or entity whose recklessness or carelessness caused the accident. Therefore, personal injury cases focus on establishing who is at fault for the accident and must pay damages to the other party.

In order to establish negligence, you need strong evidence. Some of the most common types of evidence in personal injury cases are photos and videos from the scene of the accident, witness testimony, and expert witness testimony. An example of an expert witness is a doctor who reviews your medical records and explains how your injuries occurred.

Because the at-fault party is responsible for paying damages, an investigation will be conducted to determine who is at fault and how much fault they share for causing the accident. Under California comparative negligence laws, both parties have the right to pursue compensation for their injuries, but their settlement may be reduced by the percentage of fault they share for causing the accident. Consider this example: if another driver was looking at their phone when they hit you, then they are liable for your injuries. However, if an investigation reveals that you were speeding at the time of the accident, which is illegal, then you may be partially at fault for causing the accident.

Why Some Cases Take Longer

Consider the above example where both drivers share fault for the accident. In this case, with each attorney trying to reduce their client’s percentage of liability by pointing out what the other driver has done, there is bound to be a lot of disagreement. Sometimes there’s so much disagreement that negotiations are unsuccessful, and the case then goes to court to be decided by a judge or jury. Other times, cases can be delayed because the victim is still healing, and it’s unclear how much their total medical costs will be.

Read More: What to Do When Suffering an Injury at Work

Whatever the reason for the case taking longer, you can trust that your personal injury attorney will have your best interest at heart. They can represent you so that you can focus on your healing and recovery.

It’s important to remember that not all cases go to court. Some are settled in a matter of weeks, depending on the facts of the case. A case of a driver running a red light and hitting a law-abiding driver where there is no dispute over who is at fault could wrap up within a matter of weeks. Your attorney will work hard to settle your case out of court as quickly as possible so you can get the compensation you deserve to pay your bills.

What To Look For In A Personal Injury Attorney

It should be clear by now that if you want the best chances of getting the settlement you deserve, you need to hire a very experienced attorney with a strong track record of getting the results their clients want. Before hiring an attorney, you should look at the organizations that they are associated with, such as the State Bar of California, The National Trial Lawyers, and The U.S. News – Best Lawyers®, just to name a few.

Because most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations, you should meet in person and decide how you feel about them. Did they listen to you? How reputable is their firm? Have they won for other clients in situations similar to yours? This is also the perfect time to ask if and when you will ever be expected to appear in court.