Do You Have to Go to Court for a Car Accident?
You do not necessarily have to go to court for a car accident. You may be able to receive fair compensation for your losses through an insurance claim, or may negotiate a settlement from a lawsuit without having to go to trial. In certain cases, a trial may prove necessary to seek fair compensation.
In this case, your lawyer may accompany you to any in-court appearances that you are required to make. In some instances, your lawyer can attend certain court dates on your behalf, without your presence. Generally speaking, court may not be necessary for you to find a resolution to your post-accident quest for compensation.
Insurance May Resolve Your Case
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Insurance negotiations may result in sufficient compensation for your accident-related losses, and a lawyer can help you complete your claim. They will handle negotiations with the insurance company if there is some dispute about the amount of compensation that you are entitled to.
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) explains the minimum amounts of insurance coverage that every motorist in the state is required to have. Minimum coverage includes:
- $10,000 for property damage to other vehicles
- $25,000 per person in bodily injury coverage
- $50,000 for coverage of a single fatal injury
- $50,000 for two or more people’s bodily injury
- $100,000 for two or more fatal injuries
It may be important to note whether the party or parties at fault for your accident have valid insurance. If they do have insurance, the amount of coverage that their policy provides may determine whether you can obtain the compensation you need through an insurance settlement. If this is the case, then you will not have to go to court for your car accident, as you may just have to complete the insurance process or have a lawyer negotiate a fair settlement.
Reasons Why Insurance May Not Cover Your Losses
Insurance may not be the route to compensation for one or more reasons. Some of those reasons include that:
- One or more parties liable for your accident were not insured
- Insurance that at-fault parties did have are not sufficient to cover your losses
- Insurance companies for at-fault individuals dispute your account of the accident
- Insurance companies dispute the amount of compensation that you are entitled to
Your lawyer may speak with you about bringing a lawsuit if one or more of these reasons, or another reason, prevent you from receiving fair compensation through insurance. You may still not have to go to court if you bring a lawsuit. In fact, The New York Times has found that as many as 92% of civil cases result in a settlement before a trial becomes necessary.
If you do bring a lawsuit, then your lawyer will push to get you fair compensation through further settlement negotiations. If a trial ultimately proves necessary, then they will be prepared to take that step.
Your Lawyer Will Seek Fair Compensation for Your Losses
Your lawyer will keep one consideration in their mind as they deal with insurance companies, seek a pre-trial settlement, or argue your case at trial: is the compensation being offered fair based on the losses my client has suffered?
Your lawyer will need to determine the type and value of your losses in order to answer this question. Losses that may come from a car accident include:
- Lost income, because you are injured and unable to work for some period of time
- The cost of diagnosing and treating your injuries
- The cost of rehabilitation for your injuries
- Damage to your vehicle and other personal property
- The cost of temporary transportation while your vehicle is being repaired or replaced
- The cost of medication, therapy, and any other treatment you require for psychological trauma
- Lasting or permanent harm to your earning power
- Pain and suffering
If you have lost a loved one or suffered any other injury-related losses, then your lawyer will seek fair compensation for those damages.
Your Lawyer Will Complete Your Claim or Lawsuit
When you hire a lawyer after a car accident, you may reasonably expect that they will see your insurance claim or lawsuit through to completion. They may only get paid if they secure compensation for you, as contingency-fee arrangements dictate.
In order to complete the insurance or legal process, your lawyer might:
- Collect and organize evidence
- Calculate your losses
- File your claim or lawsuit
- Handle all lawsuit- or claim-related administrative duties
- Negotiate a settlement
They will also defend your rights and take any other steps necessary to complete your post-accident pursuit of compensation.
Call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP Today
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in New York, then the team at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP wants to hear from you. Do not wait to call, as statutes of limitations could limit the time that you have to pursue compensation.
Call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP today at (516) 358-6900 for a free consultation.