It is entirely possible to reach a settlement without ever taking your case to court. You can even come to an agreement after filing a lawsuit, and before, or even during trial. Thus, it is not always necessary for you to appear in court to settle your case with the insurance company.
Having said that, there are certain circumstances where the best option going forward will be to pursue the personal injury case in court. For example, you may need to go to court if the insurance company denies your claim, ignores your claim, is uncooperative with your claim, or if your statute of limitations is fast approaching.
When your claim is denied by the insurance company, and you do not agree with this decision, you can pursue the matter in court. If they never respond to your claim, then you can stop negotiations and file a lawsuit to take to court. If your claims adjuster is being uncooperative and rude, then again, court may be the answer. And if the statute of limitations is approaching without any promise of a settlement, then you should definitely file a lawsuit while you still can.
Keep in mind that filing a lawsuit does not end the settlement negotiations. If you can still come to an agreement, then you can still avoid court. It is possible to settle your claim at any time prior to the court making a ruling on the case.