Making the Right Choice in a Car Accident Claim: Settle or Sue?

Many people expect their car accident claim to complete quickly and with no hassle. They have the necessary evidence to prove the other driver was at fault. Also, they secured representation from a Greenville car wreck attorney. But there comes a moment when you and your lawyer have to decide: do you settle your claim or do you sue?

It is true that the vast majority of personal injury cases, including car accident claims, settle out of court. In fact, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, only 3% to 4% of all such cases go to trial. But, clearly, there are cases in which the only option for getting fair compensation is obtaining a jury award.

Statistical Data on Car Accident Claims that Go to Court

Let us now share some relevant statistics about personal injury lawsuits stemming from a car accident claim. According to data collected by the US Department of Justice:

  • 52% of personal injury lawsuits are related to motor vehicle accidents.
  • 61% of the plaintiffs in a car accident lawsuit were successful.
  • 20 months is the average period until a car accident claim is fully settled.

The Main Reasons a Car Accident Claim Turns into a Lawsuit

An experienced Greenville car wreck attorney will never recommend a client to go to court without good reason. First of all, there is never a 100% guarantee of success. Also, a trial is a very stressful experience for anyone. In a personal injury claim, you are not subject to as much scrutiny as during a trial.

If you file a lawsuit, you may have to take a stand and have the opposing counsel question your injuries, pain and suffering. So, why would you resort to this option?

These are the situations in which an attorney advises taking a car accident claim to court.

1. The Insurance Company Refuses to Settle

These are rare situations, but not unheard of. They are more common when you have a very large claim. In some cases, especially after a truck accident, you are left with catastrophic injuries, resulting in lifelong disability or impairment.

In this situation, your economic and non-economic damages may easily reach the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Despite the fact that trucking companies work with the biggest insurers, this does not mean that they are generous with their money.

On the contrary – they will try to dismiss as many claims as they can. They believe that a claimant will just give up if they make the process as complex and unpleasant as possible. However, an experienced Greenville car wreck attorney will not be deterred.

And, if they refuse to reach a reasonable agreement on your car accident claim, your lawyer will not hesitate to announce that you are ready to file a lawsuit. Sometimes, this leads to an out-of-court settlement. But sometimes it doesn’t, and you really have to go to court to win your compensation.

2. The At-Fault Driver Is Underinsured

Underinsurance means, basically, carrying the minimum insurance coverage required by the law. In South Carolina, these amounts are:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage.

If you suffered severe and extensive injuries, your medical bills alone can exceed the available coverage amount. The insurance company will not and cannot be made to pay one cent above this limit.

Thus, once your car accident claim settles, the only remaining option is suing the at-fault driver for the remainder of your damages.

a personal injury lawsuit may be the only chance to recover your damages

3. You Were Hit by an Uninsured Driver

This is a very unfortunate situation. As any Greenville car wreck attorney can tell you, the best option is filing a car accident claim through your optional underinsured motorist coverage.

Otherwise, you would have to sue the uninsured driver for your damages. But uninsured drivers usually can’t afford to pay for your damages. Thus, you may not have any possibility of collecting the jury award, because the at-fault driver does not possess any valuable assets.

Of course, there is the possibility that the driver forgot to renew the insurance policy or failed to purchase insurance despite being able to afford it. In this situation, suing the at-fault driver makes sense.

4. The Accident Was Caused by a Defective Part

While preparing your car accident claim, your attorney may request technical expertise on the other driver’s car. Or even the respective driver may do it. The result is that the brakes or other critical systems did not work properly, due to a design or manufacturing error.

In this situation, the other driver may not be at fault at all for the crash. They tried to avoid it, but their vehicle did not respond to their commands. Instead, you will file a product liability lawsuit against:

  • The manufacturer of the defective part
  • The importer/distributor
  • The reseller.

Your Greenville car wreck attorney will identify the liable party, help you file a lawsuit, and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.

A Greenville Car Wreck Attorney Will Make the Best Decision in Each Case!

The main goal of any Greenville car wreck attorney at our law firm is to settle your car accident claim for the maximum amount and in the shortest time. We know that you are stressed because you have amassed hospital bills and other medical care costs.

However, being in a hurry can lead to a reduced settlement amount. Insurance companies use various tactics to delay or diminish a settlement. If they notice that you want a quick solution, they will come up with a lowball amount.

Of course, there is also the possibility that the insurer does not want to settle because they believe they have a chance in court. In this case, you must file a car accident lawsuit in order to win your compensation. Whatever the ultimate solution, we will fight for the best results.

Therefore, get in touch with us and schedule a free case review as soon as possible!