If you or somebody you care about has been injured or sustained property damage as a result of a vehicle accident caused by another party, you will very likely be able to recover compensation as a result of what happened. However, securing this compensation can be challenging. Here, we want to discuss whether or not you will have to go to court after you get into a vehicle accident. There are many factors that go into determining whether or not a car accident claim goes all the way to a trial.
Most Arizona Car Accident Cases are Resolved Through Insurance Settlements
If you have ever been involved in a vehicle accident, then you are likely aware that insurance carriers play a fairly large role in these incidents. The vast majority of vehicle accident claims are resolved through settlements with auto insurance carriers. In these cases, the insurance carrier will send a claims adjuster to gather evidence in order to help determine liability. The insurance carrier of the at-fault party will typically offer a settlement to injury or property damage victims.
We are not here to say that the insurance carriers always tender fair settlements to accident victims. That is certainly not the case. However, there is often some back and forth between the injury victims and the insurance carriers in an attempt to reach a fair settlement.
Why Would a Case Need to go to Trial?
If the insurance carrier of the at-fault party refuses to offer a fair settlement to a victim, or if they deny a claim altogether, it may be necessary for the crash victim to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver and the insurance carrier. When this happens, the case officially enters the Arizona civil court system. However, just because the court case has been filed does not mean that the case will go all the way to trial.
In most cases, the filing of a lawsuit means that attorneys for both sides will continue investigations, share information, and negotiate with one another in an attempt to reach a settlement before a trial becomes necessary. Even after lawsuits have been filed, the vast majority of claims are settled before a jury hears the case.
However, if the injury victim’s attorney cannot reach a fair settlement agreement with the insurance carrier or the at-fault party even after a lawsuit has been filed, it will be necessary to take the case in front of a jury. When that happens, yes, an injury victim will indeed need to go to court.
Time Limit to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Arizona
Injury victims in Arizona need to know that they have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in these cases. Car accident victims will need to abide by the Arizona personal injury statute of limitations, which is two years from the date an injury occurs. If a car accident victim fails to file a lawsuit within this two-year timeframe, they will lose the ability to recover the compensation they deserve.
Insurance carrier reporting deadlines are much quicker than this. Failing to file a claim with the insurance carrier within a day or two after an accident could result in a significant delay or even a denial of a claim by the insurance carrier.
Contact a Phoenix car accident lawyer today and discuss your case during a free consultation.