If you are wondering “do I have to go to court after a car accident,” you are not alone. Many people involved in accidents become confused about their obligations following the incident. Once authorities and insurance companies become involved, it can quickly become overwhelming.
If you have been in a car accident, whether you have to go to court will depend on whether you receive a court summons or decide to sue the other driver for damages.
After a car accident, you may receive a court summons that requires you to appear in court, even if you were not at fault. The other driver may sue you as a way to try and proactively shift liability onto you.
The possibility of eventually ending up in court makes it wise to hire an attorney after an accident.
Suing for Financial Damages
Other than a summons, the only reason you would need to go to court after an accident is if you decide to sue the other driver for damages.
If you were not at fault for the accident, you should always do this in order to ensure you recover financial compensation for any injuries you have suffered, lost wages, pain and suffering, and anything else related to the accident.
PIP Insurance Has Limitations
While Florida drivers do have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance and will be covered under their own policy, PIP insurance will only pay up to 80 percent of total medical bills and up to 60 percent of lost wages. This means you are at a serious financial disadvantage if you do not pursue the other driver in court.
As an attorney, I recommend filing a lawsuit. Whether you end up going to court will be determined by how the other party responds.
Negotiations Prior to Court
Filing a lawsuit does not necessarily mean you’ll end up in court.
Filing suit is often what convinces the other party they need to negotiate with you in good faith. As your attorney, we can present a compelling argument explaining there is enough evidence for us to win in court. This may convince the other party to settle your claim out of court and give you a fair financial settlement.
When to Go to Court
It becomes necessary to go to court when the other party or insurance company is either not willing to make you a fair offer or is unwilling to pay for all of the procedures necessary to help you recover.
Call My Office
If you want to know the answer to “do I have to go to court after a car accident,” call my office and schedule a consultation. I can review your case and then provide you with advice for how to proceed. We can also discuss how likely your case is to be settled out of court.