Every now and then, our Atlanta accident attorney meets with an accident victim who is insistent that their case goes to trial. Usually, our goal is to settle our client’s case. This affords them a quick resolution and a lump sum settlement.
Rather than waiting a year or longer, our car accident lawyers in Atlanta negotiate a fair, out-of-court settlement on our client’s behalf. While there are times that it makes both common and legal sense to go to trial, these occasions are few and far between.
Here, we will discuss how long it can take for a car accident case to go to trial. We will also explain why so few cases ever make it to trial. If you have questions about your own car accident lawsuit, contact our office right away. We can schedule your free, initial consultation over the phone, or you can do so through our website today.
Ideally, Your Atlanta Accident Attorney Will Settle Your Lawsuit
In most cases, our clients are more concerned with a quick settlement than they are with going to trial. Trials are expensive and time-consuming. On average, it can take upwards of a year to go before a judge. Even if your case does make it to trial, the courts are going to make you jump through hoops before they schedule your trial.
For example, the judge will more than likely require you and the defendant to meet prior to trial in an effort to negotiate a fair settlement. If this doesn’t work, the judge may order mediation where an independent attorney or retired attorney will review the case and give their expert opinion.
In many cases, what the mediator communicates to the judge can be very telling. The judge often does not take the time to read all of the pleadings. Nor do they waste a lot of time talking to the Atlanta accident attorneys representing the two parties.
They base their decisions on the papers filed and ask their clerks for their opinion on what their decision should be. If you want to avoid this, it’s in your best interest to have your car accident lawyer in Atlanta negotiate a settlement right from the outset.
You May Not Even Need to Take Legal Action
Depending on how long you wait to meet with an Atlanta accident attorney, you may not even need to file suit. If you retain one of our lawyers as soon as you learn that your insurance claim has been denied, you may be able to avoid legal action.
If your car accident lawyer in Atlanta can negotiate a settlement with the insurance adjuster, you could walk away with your settlement proceeds within a few months. It could be even sooner if your case is small or if it’s obvious which driver was at fault.
Sometimes, Your Only Option is to Go to Trial
Most people don’t realize that more than 95% of all personal injury lawsuits are settled long before trial. Nobody wants to risk going to trial. Not only can you lose, but, even if you do win, it could be years before you see a dime.
The defendant may decide to appeal the judge’s decision. Or the insurance carrier could go bankrupt before your trial is over. You are much better off accepting a percentage of your full demand as compared to nothing at all.
Your Car Accident Lawyer in Atlanta Cannot Rush the Process
If you and your car accident lawyer in Atlanta have no choice but to go to trial, it can take a long time. There is nothing your lawyer can do to speed up the process. You will be at the mercy of the judge and the court clerks. Depending on how crowded the judge’s docket is, your trial may not be scheduled for more than a year. Even though the worst days of COVID-19 are behind us, the courts are still trying to catch up from the months’ worth of lockdowns.
By the time the court is ready to hear your case, it could be early to mid-2024. Nobody wants to wait that long for their money. You need to trust that your Atlanta accident attorney isn’t going to encourage you to accept a lowball settlement. Unless they think the offer is fair, they won’t pressure you to accept it. Their goal is to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Sometimes, the only way they can do this is by taking your case to trial.
Many Cases Don’t Go to Trial for At Least a Year
One of the biggest reasons our Atlanta accident attorneys try to settle our clients’ cases is that it can take over a year to go to trial. Even if you’re lucky and your case is scheduled sooner than that, it may take several additional months for your case to be resolved. The civil courts in Georgia work hard to force parties to settle their cases amicably.
The last thing the courts want to do is clog up their judges’ dockets. The more cases that settle voluntarily, the fewer cases the judge will have to deal with. They would much rather hear cases where there are critical questions of law. They don’t like to entertain cases that involve nothing more than a “he said, she said” back and forth. The good news is that your car accident lawyer in Atlanta is well aware of this fact.
They will work hard to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. If this doesn’t work, they will file a lawsuit on your behalf. Ideally, once you file suit, the insurance company will understand that you mean business. Once they realize you aren’t going to walk away, they may be more willing to entertain the idea of a settlement.
If you were hurt in a Georgia car accident, you can reach out to us anytime 24/7 . We offer all new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you a chance to sit down with someone who has handled hundreds of personal injury cases over the years. Our associates know how to deal with the big insurance carriers and aren’t intimidated by their tactics. They’ll fight to get you the compensation you deserve.