Stages of a Car Accident Injuries LawsuitBy Ernest Hamilton
After you've been involved in a car accident, you might be overwhelmed and full of questions. Having an understanding of the legal process will help make it far less stressful, and will allow you to have reasonable expectations about the
Talk With Your Attorney
Hiring an attorney is a stressful first step, and that is why it is crucial to take this part seriously. You want an attorney you can trust, who will work with you personally, rather than having their aides or assistants call you. Once you have found a car accident lawyer you can trust, it is up to them to determine if there was actual negligence, carelessness, or intent behind your injury, and someone who is responsible for your injuries. They will consider how severe your injuries are, like if you need surgery or extensive physical therapy.
They will start to gather the medical bills you start getting, even if you are still receiving treatment for your injury. Once a defendant for which you are seeking compensation from is identified, your attorney will begin to go over with you what your legal options are.
Many attorneys offer free consultations to potential clients. This is an excellent way to interview different lawyers and find which one you trust.
Investigating Your Claim
It is critical in this stage to ensure you send your attorney the required documents promptly. If the hospital sends you a notice, for example, then that will be necessary for your attorney to look over. Other documents your attorney will need include:
The police report
Medical bills, and letters from your physician
Your salary or wages
Employment verification, and a character reference from your employer if they would be willing to write one
Reconstructing the Scene of the Accident
One of the most important duties of an attorney is to reconstruct the scene of the accident with reconstruction experts. They are expert witnesses who can provide collision analysis, reports on collision speed, and traffic accident and injury reconstruction.
Now your attorney is ready to send a demand letter to the insurance company that outlines the damages you are seeking. The most common types of damages people sue for are:
Future lost wages
Physical injuries, from mild to severe
Future medical expenses
Pain and suffering
Loss of companionship or enjoyment of life
The attorney and the adjuster for the insurance company will look over your settlement and determine if they agree with the amount you are asking for. If they do, then that will be the amount paid out. If they do not, then you will have to file a lawsuit.
Filing A Lawsuit
If your attorney cannot agree with the insurance company's adjuster and attorney, then they will file a suit on your behalf. In this step, a mediator may be brought in to settle the case before it goes to trial. During mediation, which is an informal process, both parties try to come to an agreement with each other. Trials are very time-consuming and stressful, so your attorney will do their best to come to a quick resolution, without compromising what you deserve.
If the matter cannot be resolved, then your case will go before a judge and possibly a jury. During the trial, the facts of your car accident will be debated. Expert witnesses may be brought in. And if you pick an excellent attorney, you may win your case.