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Do I have to go to court to get compensation after a car crash?

You can’t go a single day without hearing or reading about serious car crashes occurring in Tennessee or elsewhere. Thousands of people across the country die in motor vehicle accidents every year and many more suffer injuries from which they may never fully recover. Following a car crash, do victims or their surviving family members in the event of a fatality have to go to court to seek compensation for their losses?

Believe it or not, the vast majority of civil cases filed in regard to car accidents do not make it to court. It is not that they are not worthy of being heard, they are. It is because most of them settle before they even get that far.

What to expect after an accident

If you are the victim of an automobile accident, the other driver’s insurance provider will contact you soon after the collision in order to collect information about the event. After a careful case review, they will then inform you of a settlement offer if they feel inclined to give one. These initial offers are usually pretty low and are not likely to cover all of your short and long-term expenses.

It may be tempting to accept the offer because it is there and would mean money now, but it is okay to turn it down. Legal counsel can review the offer and give guidance on whether accepting or refusing the offer is in your best interests. If you accept, the case is considered closed and you’ll receive payment in the time frame specified in your agreement.

If you refuse payment from insurance because you are unhappy with the terms and amount, you need to send a demand letter stating just that. In this letter, you can issue your own demands for payment. The insurance provider has the right to accept, refuse or counter your requests. Your legal counsel can take charge of the negotiations so that you do not have to.

If negotiations fail

If a fair settlement offer cannot be reached through out-of-court negotiations, then you may need to take the case to court. Settlement negotiations can continue even if your case is in the process of being heard in court. Just know, regardless of which way your case goes, it can take time to reach a resolution.

Knoxville Family Law Attorney