After an accident, there are two ways you can collect damages from the person who was negligent. The defendant may, usually through her insurance company, offer a settlement that you can accept or reject. Or, you can sue the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit.
A settlement happens between the defendant and the plaintiff make a legal agreement about payment for your injuries. The offer can be made and agreed to before a lawsuit is filed, or while the case is at trial; it even can come when the jury is deciding their verdict. Once the settlement is done, you relinquish all claims from that accident case.
Most personal injury cases settle before going to court, so most plaintiffs do not need to appear in court. Most insurance companies want to settle a case before trial because litigation is very expensive. Also, juries are notoriously unpredictable, and it is possible the insurance company and/or defendant could pay much more when the verdict comes.
Settlement can be beneficial to you the plaintiff as a trial takes weeks or months. If you have injuries, you probably want to get your money as soon as you can. So, it is unlikely that you would have to go to court for most personal injury cases, but cases with more damages may end up in court in some cases. For more information, talk to a personal injury attorney today for a free consultation.