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How Often Do Car Accident Claims Go to Court?

Published on Apr 2, 2024 at 7:10 pm in Car Accidents.

How often do car accident claims go to court

When you get into a car accident, even with severe damage or injuries, most accident claims are settled amicably between claimants and insurers. However, sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that may complicate a claim and cause the settlement process to take longer, or even lead to a civil lawsuit against either the other driver or their insurance company. 

With over 130,000 total reported vehicle collisions in our state that occurred in 2022 per Kentucky Transportation Cabinet statistics, it begs the question of how often car accident claims go to court.  

The answer: Not many. There are no specific statistics on the topic, but an estimated 95% of car accident lawsuits end in pre-trial settlement. 

In this post, we’ll explain what happens before a car crash claim goes to court, the reasons why some claims may end up in court, how long car accident trials usually last, and how Golden Law Office can help. 

What Happens Before a Car Crash Case Goes to Court 

If you and your lawyer move forward with a lawsuit against another driver or an insurance company, you must file within the two-year statute of limitations set forth by the state of Kentucky. Also, even if you file a lawsuit against another driver or an insurance company, that doesn’t mean your claim will go to court.  

Once your lawsuit is filed, all parties in the suit will file a written response. In their response, they may move to dismiss some or all of your claims, or they may choose to go into discovery, which is where they exchange information and theories about damages and liability. 

At any time, either party can offer to settle, but if your case does not settle, the courts will set a date for the trial to begin. The judge assigned to your case will determine the starting date of your trial, which generally is a few months or more after your lawsuit was originally filed. A busy judge might not be able to start your trial for many months or possibly a year or more after your suit was filed. 

Complexities That Cause Claims to Go to Trial 

Although most car accident claims are settled out of court, there are some circumstances or complications that may cause collision claims to go to trial. 

Dispute Over Liability 

Your claim may be disputed by the other party. They may deny liability for the accident and your injuries, in which case, your claim is likely to proceed to trial as a civil case. During the trial, a jury will hear both sides (you and the other driver) and will then determine fault based on the facts and evidence presented. 

Disagreement Over Claim Value 

Insurers are often notorious for undervaluing a victim’s losses in order to save money and limit their liability as a company. If you believe your offer from an insurer is below what it should be, your experienced car accident lawyer can likely negotiate with the insurer. However, some insurance companies might still refuse, especially if there is a lot of money at stake, such as in cases with permanently disabling or catastrophic injuries. 

Bad Faith Tactics 

Sometimes, claimants are mistreated by auto insurance companies who refuse to offer fair settlements. This means that the insurance company acts in an unfair or possibly illegal manner toward the claimant to ensure the company doesn’t pay out as much as it should. According to revised Kentucky Statute 304.12-230, there is a list of what is considered unfair claims settlement practices, and if any of the acts or omissions listed apply to your case, your lawyer may file a bad-faith suit against the insurance company in addition to your car accident claim. 

How Long Does a Car Crash Trial Take? 

There’s no way to know how long a car crash trial might take, as each claim and each case is unique. Your lawyer will likely tell you that depending on which issues will be addressed, how much evidence is presented, the number of witnesses, and the severity of your injuries or damages are all factors in how short or long a trial might be. 

Jury trials usually last longer than bench trials (where a judge only looks at the facts of a case), from a few days to a few weeks, and sometimes filings and proceedings may take a year or more. In car accident trials, the following issues are generally the main topics: 


Your lawyer will present all evidence of the damages you incurred due to the accident, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other injuries or expenses that are related to your crash. 


One of the most important parts of any lawsuit is determining liability. Kentucky is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning that if you are even a small percentage at fault for your accident, your share of fault will be factored into the evidence and will be addressed during the trial. 

So, while most car accident claims do not go to court, going by our experience at Golden Law Office, some do.  

Reach out to a car accident attorney in Lexington, KY after any vehicle collision you’re involved in. This ensures that you will have the support of an expert legal advisor if your case becomes more complicated with a civil trial and that you will receive a full and proper settlement, whether your case settles or goes to trial. 

Golden Law is a local, Kentucky Law Firm, attorneys/lawyers in Fayette County, Kentucky, working in the fields of personal injury, auto accidents, car and truck wrecks; medical malpractice: doctors, hospitals & nursing homes; senior living abuse: neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, dehydration, bedsores, catastrophic injuries, and broken bones. If you are considering a lawsuit, call us at 859.469.5000 for a free consultation. We are located at 771 Corporate Dr. Suite 800/ Lexington, Kentucky 40503. We handle cases all over the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We have represented and trained people in major insurance companies & major trucking companies. We have first hand experience and know the ‘inside of the insurance business’ … that’s a distinction that no other law firm can make. We’re Your Advocate. Dale Golden, Laraclay Parker.

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