No, you do not necessarily have to go to court for a car accident. Generally, filing a lawsuit is not the first option after an auto accident, as most cases are settled out of court, per the American Bar Association (ABA).
However, everybody’s case is different. While you could file a claim with the liable insurance company, if they deny your claim, implement “bad faith” insurance practices, or otherwise impede your right to financial recovery, you may need to file a lawsuit.
Typically, most car accident lawsuits in Nevada must be filed within two years from the date of the accident, according to NRS §11.190(4)(e). If you have to go to court for a car accident, you may consider how a lawyer in your area could serve you. Even if you do not need to file a lawsuit, you may find that working with a lawyer may alleviate many of the stressors associated with your case.
A Lawyer Can Help You Work with the Insurance Company
Suppose that you were severely injured as a result of your car accident. In this circumstance, you may have a hard time dealing with the insurance company while in the midst of your other obligations. Yet, a lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company to get you the compensation for which you are entitled. They can hold the liable party accountable for the benefits offered under the applicable insurance policy and keep you updated on the progression of your case.
You should not immediately accept the first offer the insurance company extends–– even if it initially seems adequate. It helps to have a lawyer in this situation, as they can let you know if an offer is reasonable or not.
Reasons Why You Could End Up in Court
As noted, it is likely that you will be able to avoid going to court, as most claims are settled long before you need to go to trial. You may have to go to court, though, if the insurance company of the other driver or their employer offers you a settlement that does not even remotely cover the full extent of your damages.
Some specific reasons why you may need to go to court include:
The Applicable Policy Does Not Provide Adequate Coverage
Insurance companies want to save money. That is no secret. They seek to pay injured people as little money as possible to promote their agency’s interests.
Following your accident, the insurance company may offer you a lowball settlement to resolve your claim. This may either be because the applicable insurance policy has limitations on how much injured people can receive or simply because the insurance company does not want to spend money.
The Liable Party Denies Responsibility
Some car accident cases are clear-cut, meaning that fault and liability are fairly straightforward. However, not all cases are the same. Your legal team may decide that one party is at fault while their insurer may disagree.
If the insurance company denies liability, you can sue the at-fault party directly for damages. From there, the amount of compensation you can get will be awarded at the discretion of a judge and jury.
A lawyer can examine your case and tell you if they believe going to court is the wisest decision, depending on a number of factors.
Going to Court Is Avoidable
The stronger your case is, the less likely you will have to go to court. It is important to take pictures of your injuries, the vehicles involved, and the scene of the crash. You should also report the accident to the police so they can file a report. Furthermore, if you have any injuries from the collision, you should get yourself checked out by a medical professional. You will want to do everything you can to connect your injuries to the accident.
You should also refrain from telling insurance adjusters that you feel fine or blame yourself for the accident. They can use these statements against you and reduce your amount of compensation. Having a lawyer in your corner can make a difference in your case and show an insurance company that you are serious about getting compensated.
Bernstein & Poisson Can Support You After a Car Accident
Going to court is your choice, although it is likely that you will not have to go to court for a car accident. However, while your case unfolds, consider how a car accident lawyer could help you. Bernstein & Poisson will explore all avenues of compensation and explain your financial recovery options.
Jack Bernstein and Scott Poisson have over 60 years of combined experience when it comes to advocating on behalf of injured claimants. We want to secure the best possible outcome for your case. Call (702) 633-3333 today for a free case review.