If you are seeking compensation for your injuries and other damages, you may have to go to court for a motorcycle accident. The good news is that the majority of motorcycle accident injury claims resolve without the need for a trial, per the American Bar Association (ABA).
Ultimately, this will depend on whether you are able to agree to a settlement with the insurance company that addresses the various damages you face. If the offer you receive isn’t fair or the deadline to file a lawsuit is quickly approaching, going to court may be necessary.
When You Could Avoid a Court Appearance
If you can reach a mutual settlement with the other driver and their insurance company, you could avoid the need to set foot in court. Again, many of these injury claims settle without the need for a lawsuit. This can depend on several factors, including:
- Whether or not the liable party has insurance coverage
- The strength of your claim against the liable party
- The value of your case and the damages you qualify to seek
- Whether the insurance company accepts your claim and offers a fair settlement
- How long negotiations take
Negotiating a fair settlement can be a time-consuming process that requires significant evidence. If you cannot establish that the other driver was at fault for your accident, their insurance provider has little incentive to settle your case.
When you hire our firm, we can work to build a strong claim using the evidence we collect and take a firm stance during negotiations. In some cases, we may even file a lawsuit just to boost our negotiating power and protect your right to sue. 735 ILCS 5/13-202 limits how long you have to file.
Filing a Lawsuit Could Give You More Leverage
A settlement could occur at any point during the claims process. It is not unusual for an injury claim to settle long before we need to consider going to court. That said, filing a lawsuit does not necessarily bring settlement negotiations to a close.
Many motorcycle accident injury claims resolve during active litigation. This could occur shortly after the lawsuit is filed, moments before the trial begins, or at any point in between. In some cases, filing encourages insurance companies to make a reasonable offer in order to avoid the cost of a legal battle.
When a Trial Could Be Necessary
Not all motorcycle accident claims will settle. If our team does not believe recovering a fair settlement is possible, we may advise you to let us take the case to court. There are a few reasons why your case might ultimately go to trial. Some reasons for filing a lawsuit include:
The Driver’s Insurance Policy Does Not Cover Your Damages
The success of an insurance claim is subject to several factors. One is the other driver’s policy limits. If your damages are greater than the limits on the at-fault driver’s liability policy, you may receive a lower settlement offer than you were expecting.
The insurer has no obligation to pay anything above those limits. What’s more, they generally require you to waive the rest of your damages before they hand over your settlement, preventing you from seeking more compensation for the collision in the future. This conflict often leads to a trial.
Another issue involves whether or not the other driver had insurance coverage at all. If you were injured by an uninsured motorist, you can’t seek a settlement from their insurer. In this case, you could seek coverage from your own uninsured motorist policy—if you have one—or name the driver in a lawsuit.
The Insurer Denies Your Claim
Trials are especially common in cases where liability is disputed. When the other driver refuses to accept responsibility, their insurer could deny your claim or offer a lesser settlement.
That is not to say that every defendant that refuses to accept liability will demand a trial. In some cases, an insurance company might push their policyholder to resolve the case. The cost of fighting back could be much more costly than agreeing to a settlement.
Our Attorneys Can Prepare You for Court if Necessary
The team at The Kryder Law Group, LLC could help you resolve your claim and avoid a trial entirely. If needed, we will make sure you and your case are ready for a trial. To discuss your collision and learn more about how we might be able to help, call (312) 223-1700 for a free consultation.