Accident victims are sometimes hesitant to pursue a personal injury claim because they are worried about having to go to court. This blog explores this question—”Do all injury cases go to court?”—and offers insights into the legal process surrounding personal injury cases, specifically in Columbus and the greater Chattahoochee Valley area.

  1. Court Necessity in Injury Cases

Contrary to popular belief, not all personal injury cases require a court appearance. In fact, most personal injury cases are settled out of court. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, about 95% of personal injury cases are resolved through settlements before reaching trial. In Alabama and Georgia, that figure is closer to 98%. This trend highlights the efficiency of negotiations and mediations in resolving disputes without the need for a formal courtroom setting.  But GREAT results only happen when the case is worked up like it is going to be tried!!

  1. Settlement vs. Litigation

Understanding the difference between settling and litigating, from the outset of your case, is crucial. Settlement involves the injured party and the defendant (or their insurers) agreeing on how much money the victim should receive, without a trial.  Litigation is the process of taking legal action in court to resolve disputes over civil matters such as personal injuries. This involves the familiar courtroom setting, calling witnesses, formally presenting evidence to the judge and jury. Both routes have their pros and cons, and the choice whether to litigate or settle largely depends on the specific circumstances of the case, the amount of compensation involved, and the willingness of both parties to negotiate.

  1. Considering Your Options

For those considering a personal injury claim, here are several steps to navigating the process:

    1. Consult with a qualified personal injury lawyer to evaluate your case. Do this as soon as possible after your accident.
    2. Gather all necessary documentation related to your injury, such as medical reports, accident reports, and any correspondence with insurance companies.
    3. Consider any settlement offers carefully. Often, a settlement can provide a quicker resolution, but it may be less than what might be awarded in court. Be sure to think about any future medical needs, future lost income, and permanent limitations you may have because of the incident before making a final decision.
    4. Be prepared to go to court if a fair settlement cannot be reached.
  1. Real-Life Applications

As discussed above, litigation (as opposed to TRIAL) can be necessary unless the basic facts of the accident, and liability for causing the accident, are not in dispute. Where liability is clear, the real issue that remains is what factors must be considered to put a value on the case.  For example, this firm recently handled a case where a tractor-trailer left their lane of travel and struck our client head on. In that case, the insurance company made the extent of the injuries an issue and, more importantly, we felt that  the facts surrounding the loss needed to be explored since the defendant company had engaged an unqualified driver, knew he was unqualified and had created an unsafe safety culture, inconsistent corporate policies, and other disturbing facts that were not admitted but were the underlying cause of the collision. Once the facts were exposed – after filing a suit and doing investigation in the court setting (but before a trial) the case was settled favorably for our client.

Conclusion: Expertise of Gary Bruce

At the Law Offices of Gary Bruce, located in the heart of the Chattahoochee Valley for more than 30 years, , we bring vast experience to the table in handling personal injury claims both in and out of court. Our understanding of the intricacies of personal injury law, combined with a deep commitment to our clients’ best interests, allows us to provide top-notch legal representation. We invite anyone with a personal injury claim to contact us for a free consultation to discuss your options.

To hear more from Gary Bruce on this topic, check out his segment on WTVM’s Legal Break in Columbus by clicking this link. Remember, you don’t always have to go to court to resolve your injury case, and we are here to help guide you through every step of the process.