Do You Have to Go to Court for a Car Accident?

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Hear from personal injury attorney Andrew S. Kryder, Esq., founding partner of the car accident law firm, The Kryder Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers, “When we begin a case, many clients will ask, ‘Do you have to go to court for a car accident?‘… And the answer is, Maybe. We just don’t know yet.”

Most car accident cases do not have to go to court. Many are resolved through negotiations between the parties involved; you and the other driver, your lawyer and the other driver’s insurance company and their lawyers. This is often a more time-efficient and cost-effective solution, as it avoids the lengthy and expensive process of going to trial to seek compensation.

In Legal Terms, What Is a Car Accident?

A car accident is defined as any incident involving a motor vehicle that results in property damage, injury, or death. This can include accidents between two or more cars, accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists, and even single-vehicle accidents.

In a car accident resulting in serious injuries or death with an at-fault driver, the victim or their loved ones may be entitled to financial compensation through a car accident claim.

Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit after a Car Accident?

In cases where a car accident results in injuries, legal action may become more complex. Accidents with injuries often require thorough documentation of the medical bills, treatments, expenses, and potential long-term effects, to ensure fair compensation.

Conversely, car accidents without injuries that are caused by another party can sometimes be settled without filing a lawsuit, especially if the dispute revolves around property damage alone. In such instances, insurance companies typically manage the claims process without a car accident lawyer.

Why Do Some Car Accident Cases End Up Going to Court?

Why Do Some Car Accident Cases End Up Going to Court?

Various factors can lead to a car accident case being litigated in court, such as:

  • Contentious Liability: Disagreements may arise over who is to blame for the accident. A common scenario is when each driver accuses the other of a traffic violation, like running a red light.
  • Inadequate Compensation Offers: There are instances when the settlement proposed by the insurance company doesn’t adequately cover all current and future medical expenses for car accident victims.
  • Grave Injuries or Fatalities: Cases involving serious injuries or fatalities tend to be intricate and often require adjudication by a court.
  • Insurance Company Misconduct: Sometimes, an insurance company may engage in bad faith tactics, such as unjustifiable claim denials.

Do I Have to Appear in Court If I Witness a Car Accident?

Under Illinois law, (735 ILCS 5/) if you are an eyewitness to a car collision, there is no legal obligation for you to testify in court unless you are formally summoned through a subpoena, an official court-issued order that compels you to attend court or a jury trial and provide your account of events as part of the legal proceedings.

What Happens in Court?

What Happens in Court?

If your car accident case does go to court, here is what you can expect:

  • The Complaint: Your lawyer will file a complaint with the court outlining the details of the accident, who was at fault, and what compensation you are seeking.
  • The Discovery Phase: Both sides will exchange information and evidence, and may also request depositions from witnesses like medical experts.
  • Pre-trial Motions: Either side can file motions to dismiss the case or request certain evidence or witness testimony be excluded.
  • Trial: The trial gives both sides opportunity to present evidence, making their arguments, calling witnesses, and cross-examining each other’s evidence.
  • Verdict: The judge or jury will determine the outcome of the case and award any compensation as appropriate.

What Determines Whether a Car Accident Case Is Heard By a Judge or a Jury?

Under Illinois law, (735 ILCS 5/2-1105) the decision to have a civil case, such as a car accident lawsuit, heard by a judge or a jury often lies with the parties involved. This option allows the parties in civil cases to choose the decision-maker they believe will be most beneficial to their case.

Discuss Your Case with a Lawyer

While most car accident personal injury cases don’t require a car accident trial, it is important to have competent legal representation from an experienced car accident lawyer.

A personal injury lawyer can assess your unique situation and determine the best course of action for seeking fair compensation. And if going to court becomes necessary, they can guide you through the entire process.

Don’t hesitate to consult a lawyer for counsel after a car accident – it could protect your rights and ensure a fair outcome. So, if you or someone you know is involved in a car accident, don’t wait – reach out to The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers today.

Free Consultation

Call us for a free consultation with one of our experienced car accident lawyers.

Do You Have to Go to Court for a Car Accident?
The Kryder Law Group, LLC has the knowledge and resources to build a strong case in the event that your car accident claim case goes to court.

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The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers, 134 North LaSalle St. Suite 1515 Chicago, IL 60602
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