Involvement in a vehicle crash can lead to trying days ahead, and you may be asking how often do car accident cases go to court? While the last thing you want to do is drag out the process and delay receipt of payments for medical expenses, replacement of property, and other potential damages, sometimes going to court may be your best option to get the full compensation you deserve.

How Often Do Car Accident Cases Go to Court in Georgia?

Today’s reality is that accident claims can quickly become complicated and disputable. In some instances, acceptable settlements will not be reached at all, and you need to prepare for going to court. Luckily, however, how often do car accident cases go to court can be answered positively, and that answer is “rarely.”

No one, including the insurance companies, wants to spend excessive time and money preparing for court and defending their position. As a result, the majority of car accident cases reach a settlement with the insurance companies involved. Cases that aren’t settled will most likely find a resolution during a pre-trial mediation, eliminating the need for a trial in front of a judge or jury.

However, there are times when going to court is the only option. Below we discuss some situations when this may occur.

When Does A Car Accident Go To Court?

When Accident Fault Is in Question

The other driver involved in your accident may maintain his or her innocence in causing the wreck and may even falsely point blame your way.

The assignment of fault, however, will depend on whether your state is an at-fault state or a no-fault state. In a no-fault state, fault does not need to be established, as both parties are required to have their own insurance with whom they file a claim. If you live in an at-fault state, like Georgia, fault is assigned based on circumstances surrounding the accident itself. You may even be found partially responsible for the accident and be apportioned a part of the fault or negligence. This can affect the amount of money you receive.

If there is a dispute as to who is at fault for the car accident, and both sides insist that they were not at fault, it is possible that the case may go to court.  Also, if the police officer, working with the insurance adjuster, still can’t make a decision about fault, even after speaking to eyewitnesses, a car accident dispute in Georgia may go to court.  Again, it is possible for car accident cases to go to court, but it is rare.

Insurance Company Refuses to Offer an Adequate Settlement

Another cause for going to court is when the insurance company for the at-fault driver balks at the amount of compensation being sought. The company may offer a lower settlement, which can be insulting and upsetting. Know that you don’t have to accept the first or even the second settlement offered by an insurance company; you can continue to negotiate or take it to court.

It is important to remember that insurance companies are in the business to make money and they want to pay out as little as possible for a car accident claim.  Keeping that in mind will go a long way in fighting with them to get a fair and adequate settlement.

The Case Is Too Complex For Settlement Discussions

Sometimes, car accidents can be so complex that only a jury trial can push the case to a conclusion.  If there were more than two cars involved in the accident or there were serious injuries or a fatality, a jury trial will make sense for everyone involved. Add to that the specific weather conditions on the day of the crash, and the case gets more complicated.

The more complex the case is, with more people and companies involved, the higher the chances are that the case will go to trial. While your attorney will do everything possible to avoid trial, sometimes that is the only option.

How Long Does A Georgia Car Accident Case Take?

Answering the question of how long a court hearing lasts for a car accident will depend on all the circumstances surrounding the case. Since every case is unique, different amounts of time may be required to reach a resolution.

Factors that will affect the time a court hearing takes include:

  • The severity of the injuries sustained
  • The number of parties involved
  • Assignment of fault
  • The strength of your case
  • The strength of your opponent’s case
  • A willingness to reach a solution and financial settlement.

Some court hearings last just a few days, while others can go on for weeks. Still others can take a year or longer before ever reaching a courtroom.

Before a case even goes to trial, there are numerous pretrial events. After a car accident, your lawyer and the other party’s lawyer, together with the insurance companies, will try to come to a settlement on the case.  If that is not successful, a lawsuit will probably be filed, either by you or the other party.  The following also will occur before a case goes to trial:

  • Serving the defendant or defendants with the complaint
  • Allowing adequate time for defendants to respond to the complaint
  • Spending time on the discovery phase of the case, which includes witness interviews and evidence exchanges.

Once your trial does proceed and both sides have presented their case, the decision may go to a jury for deliberation or to the judge. In Georgia, personal injury cases, including car accidents, must go before a jury for a decision.

What Percentage Of Car Accident Cases in Georgia Go To Court?

You also may be wondering what percentage of car accident cases go to court in Georgia.

While no exact count is available, many studies do maintain that up to 95% of all car accident cases are resolved or settled without ever going to court. The answer, then, to what percentage of car accident cases go to trial is around 5%.

If both parties agree on who was at fault for the accident, the chances of your case going to trial are very low. That said, if their insurance company thinks that the fault should be assigned to you, they will not pay out on the claim and the case could drag on and eventually end up in trial.

Being prepared for what’s ahead in a court case will be essential, and working with an experienced car accident lawyer will increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Get Help From Our Car Accident Lawyer Today

Suffering from a car accident can be devastating, and filing an insurance claim to recoup expenses can take time — time you don’t have or can’t afford. Here at Mann Injury Law in Macon, GA, we understand the complications that can arise following your car accident, and we know how to negotiate with insurance companies.

Call our office today at (478) 742-3381 and schedule an informative consultation at no cost. We will review your case, discuss insurance claim options, and also determine whether filing a car accident lawsuit will be to your advantage.

Attorney David Mann

Attorney David MannBefore leading his own firm, Mann served for several years as in-house defense counsel for a large insurance company, which gives him unique insight into how insurance companies work. He uses this critical knowledge as an advantage for his clients. He is a tough negotiator and litigator, and he is exceptionally strategic in building cases on behalf of personal injury victims.[ Attorney Bio ]


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