Will I Have to Go to Court If I File a Car Accident Claim?

Television dramas and cinematic thrillers have probably left you cautious about entering a courtroom. After all, these on-screen depictions often include a gavel-swinging judge, aggressive defense attorneys, and constant unexpected twists. While these filmmakers have taken several artistic liberties, going to trial can be a daunting prospect. 

However, the chances of your case going to court is relatively slim. Ultimately, most personal injury cases are settled during negotiations. That said, there are some situations where filing a lawsuit might be your best option.  

In this article, we look at a few steps you can take that might help you avoid ever seeing the inside of a courtroom: 

Gather Compelling Evidence

With strong evidence at your disposal, you will minimize your chances of facing disputes that might otherwise put you on a one-way road to litigation. However, the types of proof you will need are usually dependent on the unique circumstances surrounding the accident.  

For instance, if the at-fault driver was using their cell phone in the moments before impact, you might need to obtain copies of their cellphone records, eyewitness statements, and dashcam footage that shows that they were distracted. Alternatively, if the other driver was drunk, getting hold of toxicology reports could help you prove liability. 

Other types of evidence that commonly play a role in car accident claims can include: 

  • Surveillance camera recordings, 
  • Official accident reports, 
  • Black box data, 
  • Expert witness deposition, and 
  • Medical records

Track Your Damages Carefully 

In a personal injury claim, you will only receive compensation for the damages you can prove. As such, you will need to log any expenses carefully, making sure to file away associated receipts, invoices, and estimates. If you were unable to work because of your injuries, you should also gather proof of lost income such as copies of pay stubs, letters from your employer, and tax returns. 

It may be wise to start a personal injury journal, too. You should use your entries to describe your condition, the pain you’re experiencing, and the other ways in which your injuries are affecting your everyday life. These entries could be used to build a case for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, and emotional distress. 

Deactivate Your Social Media Accounts

Anything you post online could be used as evidence to challenge your credibility, so you should think carefully before sharing anything on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. If the insurer finds any comments, pictures, “check-ins”, or reviews that could be used to dispute aspects of your claim, you may be left with no other option than to file a lawsuit to recover fair compensation. In most situations, it’s best to disable your social media accounts for the duration of proceedings to prevent others from poring through your feeds.

Discuss Your Case with a Car Accident Attorney in California 

If you’re planning to file a personal injury claim after a car wreck, it’s only natural to worry about whether your case will go to court. At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we can assist in your fight for a fair settlement by investigating the wreck, gathering evidence to prove liability and damages, and providing tenacious representation throughout proceedings. 

While it’s unlikely that your claim will go to trial, if you choose to hire us, you can have peace of mind that we possess the necessary knowledge, experience, and track record of success to help you achieve a favorable outcome in court. Call us today at 1-800-GO-HARRIS or drop us a message via our Contact Form to request a free case evaluation with a California car accident attorney.