Were you injured in an auto accident that wasn't your fault? If so, you are going to end up suing the responsible driver to receive compensation. However, there will come a point during negotiations where you need to decide if you want to settle your case or go to court. Here are some tips for deciding if it is worth going to court.
What Are The Policy Limits?
It's very important to look at the policy limits that the responsible driver has, and then compare them to what you are asking for. If you are in a situation where you have negotiated a settlement that is maxing out those policy limits, then you may be getting all that you can get out of the injury lawsuit, and there is no need to go to trial.
However, if you are struggling to get a fair settlement from the insurance company and the policy limits are much higher than what is being offered, then a trial may be your best option to get what you deserve. If you have a strong case, there is a possibility that the judge will award what you are asking for.
What Assets Does The Responsible Driver Have?
If the policy limits are maxed out and you have not received fair compensation, you'll want to look into what assets the responsible driver has. If they don't own any property, don't have high wages that can be garnished effectively, and don't have much cash on hand, then going to trial may be pointless. If you are unable to recover the settlement that you won that goes above and beyond their insurance policy, then the expenses of going to trial will essentially come out of what you win. This may cause you to receive less in the end than if you just settled the case out of court.
What Are Your State Laws Regarding Fault?
Be aware that there are some states that do not allow you to collect a settlement in a car accident if you are found to hold any percentage of fault. If this applies to you, mediation may be your best option to negotiate a settlement. All the responsible driver's insurance company needs to prove is that you hold a small amount of fault for you to receive nothing in the end. Unless you are completely sure that you hold no fault in causing the accident, such as being rear-ended at a red light, then it will not be advised to go to trial.
For more information, talk to an auto accident attorney, or reach out to a local law firm, like The Radmore Law Firm.