You’ve been injured in an accident. You’ve already been to the doctor and you might even be waiting to go into surgery. You’ve had a few calls with your insurance agency and you’ve been in contact with the other party once or twice. Now, you’re asking yourself about what happens next. While you might have thought about talking to an attorney, you probably have a very pressing question on your mind – you want to know if you are going to have to go to court. Unfortunately, there’s not an easy answer to this question. It is, however, a good idea to understand why your case might end up in front of a judge.
Determining if You Have a Case
Before there’s ever a chance of your case going to court, it’s important that to realize that not every case is going to go in front of a judge – or go through the legal system at all. While you may have been injured, your lawyer might tell you that it’s not worth your time or your money to pursue legal action. This is usually not due to the fact that your is complex. Instead, lawyers will usually advise you not to pursue a case because it doesn’t satisfy one or more of the requirements for a personal injury case.
First and foremost, it’s important that you have some kind of injury. If you and your vehicle are both fine, for example, you probably won’t be able to pursue a personal injury case if the other party merely made you afraid or angry. There must also be another party who was responsible for the harm. If you were the main instigator of the accident or there was no other party involved, you may not want to go to court to deal with this issue.
Even if you do have a case that can go forward, there’s no guarantee that you will have to go to court. In fact, many attorneys will attempt to help you reduce your costs and the time spent in the system by helping you through processes of alternative dispute resolution. In mediation or negotiation, you’ll be able to sit down with the other party or with the insurance company and try to come to a compromise that can help everyone. It’s always worth your time to pursue some kind of collaborative decision making, as you’ll often get through this process more quickly than going to court.
Of course, going through with negotiations doesn’t preclude you from going to court. Instead, this is often a conscious effort by one party or the other to avoid court. If things don’t work out, though, you might still end up in front of a judge. It’s good to think of alternative dispute resolution as a good faith effort to resolve your issues without having to get the court involved. If things don’t go your way, you’ll still be able to move forward with your case.
Making a Decision
At some point, though, the decision about whether to go to trial will fall on your shoulders. No matter how far you go with things, you don’t have to bring your case. You can walk away whenever you feel like it, though this will naturally stop you from being able to collect any restitution that is owed to you. You don’t have to go to court, even though your lawyer might advise you that it is a good idea. Court is, at the end of the day, something that is meant to benefit you as a victim and to give you a chance to seek justice.
With this said, your case will reach a point at which your choice will be to go to court or to go home. If all other options have failed, you may have to go before a judge in order to get the money needed to make you whole. Your lawyer will provide you with the representation you need and he or she will do what he or she can to take the burden of going through court off your shoulders. This can be stressful, but its something for which all attorneys are trained.
Will you have to go to court? There’s no simple answer to that question. If you have a good case, the other party is not willing to settle and you are willing to move forward, then it is very possible that you will end up in court. With this said, the best way to determine your future is to talk to an attorney. He or she will not just tell you how likely it is that you will go to court, but also what steps will take place between now and then. The future is uncertain if you have a personal injury case, but a good lawyer can help you.