Free consultations (505) 889-3463

Do I Have to Go to Court for a Car Accident in New Mexico?

Posted in Auto Accidents

After a car accident, you may be wondering whether you will have to go to court to recover compensation. Most car accident cases in Albuquerque settle before they reach trial. In other words, it is unlikely that you will have to go to court.

Reasons Why You Might Have to Go to Court

There are a couple of reasons why going to court might be necessary after a car accident in New Mexico. These include the following:

The Insurance Company Refuses to Settle

The most common reason why car accident cases make it to court is when the insurance company is disputing liability and they refuse to offer a fair settlement. Insurers are for-profit businesses, whose main goal is to limit their payouts on claims. As a result, if there is evidence against you, they will pressure you into accepting a low settlement offer. If they refuse to negotiate their offer, your attorney may advise you to file a lawsuit. Keep in mind that many cases still settle even after you file a lawsuit, so there is still potential to remain out of the courtroom.

The At-Fault Driver is Uninsured

If the driver who caused your collision is uninsured and you do not carry insurance coverage that will pay for your accident, the only option is to sue the at-fault driver. However, it is best to seek advice from an attorney before doing so. Uninsured drivers typically do not have the financial means to pay for a crash. As a result, taking them to court may be a waste of your time and money.

How to Avoid Court for a Car Accident in New Mexico

Taking a settlement rather than going to court for a car accident is often in your best interests. It is a less expensive, less time-consuming, and less stressful process, plus there is a guaranteed award. However, that doesn’t mean you should settle for less than your case’s value. Here are a few things to consider that can help you resolve your case before reaching trial.

Hire an Attorney

Car accident attorneys have extensive experience dealing and negotiating with insurance companies. As a result, they will significantly increase your chances of settling your claim, and at a fair amount. Once you recover from your injuries or reach maximum medical improvement, an attorney knows how to accurately estimate your case’s worth. Therefore, they will gather the evidence they need to support the amount of compensation you are demanding, and the insurance company will take you seriously.

Keep Track of Evidence and Expenses

Maintaining documentation and making sure to track accident-related expenses is critical to recovering fair compensation in a settlement. The stronger and more detailed your case, the better chance the insurer will be inclined to settle than risk having to pay a higher award in court.

Identify a Good Settlement Offer

Generally, a settlement offer is fair and should be considered if it is close to the estimated value of your case. However, suppose liability is a factor, meaning you were partially to blame for the collision. In that case, you may need to accept a lower offer, but you should never settle before consulting an attorney.