A Finances Online report states that there were 286.9 million cars in the U.S. These numbers are for the year 2020. Despite rising costs, the craze for cars doesn’t seem to be going down anytime soon.
With so many cars on the roads, you shouldn’t be surprised if there are a lot of accidents as well. A small lapse in concentration is all it takes for a joyride to turn into a trip to the hospital.
This is why it is important for victims to know what to do immediately after a car accident. If you’ve been involved in an accident, you must:
- Seek medical attention
- Call 911
- Gather evidence
- Request a police report
- Inform your insurance company.
- Hire an experienced car accident lawyer
It is important to follow all the above-mentioned tips, as the slightest of mistakes can come back to haunt you later.
As you progress through the car accident case, you will eventually reach a crossroads: whether to settle out of court or take the case to court.
Each has its own set of pros and cons. This blog post talks about whether taking the case to court is actually worth it.
Lawsuit – Basics
In a lawsuit, your case will be presented before the judge and jury. The jury is a group of 6 to 12 people who will be present in court to hear the proceedings. These are ordinary citizens who undergo a selection process to become a member of the jury.
Your lawyer will present the case to the judge and jury. The objective here is to convince the jury that the compensation you have requested is fair for the damages and losses you have sustained.
With the basics out of the way, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a lawsuit.
Pros of a Lawsuit
Taking the case to court has numerous benefits. They are mentioned below.
- Chances of winning punitive damages
Punitive damages are awarded by the judge and jury in situations that involve gross recklessness. They are awarded to punish the at-fault party rather than compensate the victim for their losses. You can only seek punitive damages in court.
- Increased compensation
The odds of acquiring fair compensation increase considerably in a lawsuit. The tricks of the insurance company to make low offers don’t work in court. This is because the people making the decisions are unbiased and rely more on the statements made by the legal representatives than the insurance company.
- Opportunity to set a precedent
With litigation, you get the opportunity to set an example for future cases. Car accident victims who’ve faced hardships similar to yours can use your case as a precedent, paving the way for fair treatment.
Cons of a Lawsuit
As advantageous as they are, a lawsuit has its share of cons as well. They are mentioned below.
- Takes longer to settle
Car accident lawsuits take a while to settle. They can last anywhere from a few months to years. The time it takes for a car accident lawsuit to settle is often seen as a deterrent when pursuing compensation.
- Lack of privacy
The concept of privacy goes for a toss if the case goes to court. Everything related to the case will be discussed in front of those present at the court. You will be subjected to aggressive cross-examination and forced to answer uncomfortable questions.
If your case is one-of-a-kind, the local media houses may report it as well.
- Increased expenses
Lawsuits are by no means cheap. There are court expenses to take care of. There’s also administrative fees and lawyer charges for representing you in court.
Then there’s the additional expense of having expert witnesses testify in court. All these costs can add up and become the reason for more financial stress.
You just read what a litigation process is and the pros and cons of choosing one. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether you’d want the case to go to court. Weigh your options and discuss them with your lawyer before making a decision.
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