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Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney / Blog / Car Accidents / Settling a Car Accident Claim vs. Going to Trial in Rhode Island?

Settling a Car Accident Claim vs. Going to Trial in Rhode Island?


If you were injured in a car accident in Rhode Island, one of the most confusing questions is whether you should settle your claim or go to trial. Unfortunately, there is no definite answer because each case is unique. It is important to consult with a Rhode Island car accident attorney to decide which option is best in your particular situation.

The following information should not be misconstrued as legal advice. Contact a knowledgeable attorney to review your case and get legal advice for your particular situation.

Seek Medical Attention Right Away

If you were involved in a car crash, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention to document your injury. Failure to receive medical care in a timely manner may give an insurance company an excuse to deny your personal injury claim.

After seeking medical attention, it is advised to contact an attorney to evaluate your damages and losses. If you do not know how much your personal injury case is worth, you won’t know how much to demand from the insurance company or the at-fault party who caused your injury.

Settling a Car Accident Claim in Rhode Island

Most car accident victims decide to avoid going to court because the litigation process can be expensive, time-consuming, and does not guarantee that you will obtain any compensation. If you decided to attempt to settle your car accident claim, your attorney will determine how much your case is worth and prepare a demand.

In personal injury cases in Rhode Island, a demand should be based on maximum medical improvement (MMI), which is a point at which further improvement is not possible. Attempting to settle your claim before reaching MMI is not recommended since you cannot estimate future medical bills related to your recovery.

When You Should Go to Court After a Rhode Island Car Accident

Only a small percentage of car accident claims go to court. However, the possibility of litigation should not be ruled out. If you and the opposing party are not able to agree on the amount of settlement, filing a lawsuit may be the only option to obtain maximum compensation for your injury.

It is not advised to take your car accident claim to court if you are not represented by a Rhode Island personal injury attorney. The most common reasons why car accident claims go to court include:

  1. The parties are unable to agree upon a settlement amount
  2. The parties disagree about who was at fault
  3. The insurance company is trying to delay your case (keep in mind that Rhode Island’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is three years)

While taking your case to court has its advantages, there are also reasons to avoid going to court. Those reasons include:

  • It could take months or years to receive compensation through a lawsuit
  • The facts surrounding your case will be available to the public
  • Going to court can be quite unpredictable as there is no guarantee that you will obtain a favorable verdict

Additionally, you may want to consult with an experienced lawyer about possible alternative options to receive compensation in your case, including arbitration and mediation. Speak with our lawyers at Robert E. Craven & Associates to determine whether you should settle your claim or go to trial. Call at 401-453-2700 for a consultation.


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