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Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Will I Have to Go to Court for My Auto Accident Claim in Myrtle Beach, SC?

Axelrod & Associates, P.A.
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Will you need to go to court for your auto accident case?

Many of our injury clients with cases in Myrtle Beach, SC, live out of state and are concerned about whether they will need to return for their court case. Even if you are a local, though, you may not want to put on a suit and show up in court unless it’s absolutely necessary…

In this article, we will discuss when you may be required to appear in court for your car wreck case, including:

  • Understanding the process for a car accident claim,
  • When you may need to go to court for hearings, and
  • When you may need to go to court for the trial in your case.

Will You Need to Go to Court for Your Car Wreck Case?

You might need to go to court for your car accident claim.

Most auto accident cases do not go to trial, but every case must be prepared to go to trial.

Your attorney must identify and research all potential legal issues in your case, file any necessary motions that may need to be decided by a judge, respond to motions filed by the defense, gather the evidence required to prove your claim, and be prepared to present it to a jury.

In short, you must be willing, able, and prepared to take your case to trial because, if the insurance company does not agree to pay full and fair compensation for your injuries, your attorney must be ready to ask a jury to force them to pay.

More importantly, if you are not willing, able, and prepared to take your case to trial, why would the insurance company settle your claim for full value?

They won’t – if you can’t prove your claim in court, there is no reason for them to settle your case for its full value.

Understanding the Process for an Auto Accident Claim

When the insurance company knows that you can prove your claim and that you are prepared to litigate through trial and appeal if necessary, your case is more likely to settle out of court without the need for a trial…

What’s that process look like? Depending on the circumstances, your attorney will:

  • Investigate your accident,
  • Gather the evidence and witnesses you need to prove liability and damages,
  • Identify and research any legal issues that may arise in your case,
  • Retain the right expert witnesses or consultants when needed,
  • Demand full and fair compensation from the insurance companies or defendants,
  • Litigate your case to the extent necessary – engaging in depositions, motion hearings, and the discovery process,
  • Try your case to a jury when necessary, and
  • File or defend an appeal when necessary.

Your case may settle at any point during this process – when the insurance company receives your demand letter, during the discovery process, at mandatory mediation, on the eve of trial, during trial, or even while a case is pending on appeal.

When Will You Need to Go to Court for Your Auto Accident Case?

Although most cases do not go to trial, and, in many cases, you will not need to appear in court at all, you must be prepared to appear and prosecute your case if it is necessary, which could include depositions, court hearings, and your trial.

Depositions

If your case does not settle after the insurance company receives the demand letter, your attorney may file a formal lawsuit. At this point, both sides have the right to engage in discovery.

Most of the discovery process does not require court appearances, but the defense has the right to take your deposition. If the other side notices your deposition, you will need to appear for this, usually in your attorney’s office or the defense attorney’s office with a court reporter present.

You are not required to attend the depositions of other witnesses although it may be recommended.

Hearings

Either side may file motions that will be decided by the court before your case is ready for trial. These could include:

  • Motions to dismiss,
  • Motions for summary judgment,
  • Motions to compel discovery,
  • Motions to exclude evidence or statements, or
  • Any legal issue that the court must decide that could dispose of the case or narrow the issues at trial.

In most cases, you are not required to attend motion hearings, but, as with depositions, it may be recommended that you attend whenever possible.

Trial

If your case is not settled, it will be decided by a jury of your peers.

In most cases, you will need to be present if your case goes to trial, because:

  1. If you don’t care enough to be there, why would the jury care enough to decide in your favor, and
  2. In many cases, you will be an essential witness needed to present evidence of how the accident happened, the injuries that you suffered, and the total amount of damages that resulted from the crash.

The bottom line is:

  • In many cases, your claim will not go to trial, and you may not be required to go to court at all, but
  • You must be willing, able, and prepared to appear in court for hearings and your trial if necessary.

Got Axelrod?

Your Myrtle Beach auto accident lawyer on the Axelrod team will work hard to settle your car wreck case and ensure that you are fully compensated, but, when the insurance company does not pay, we are also going to be ready for trial.

Call today at 843-353-3449 or fill out our contact form to set up a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

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