Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit – Everything You Need to Know

Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit – Everything You Need to Know

Oh no! You’ve been injured in a car accident and you need help. But where do you go from here? Nearly half of all the accidents reported involving injuries. Injuries are common in car accidents, but what do you need to know about them? There are so many rumors out there and pieces of info. What is actually true? What are your first steps and how do you get a settlement or even go to court. Is that even a good idea at this point?

We are going to talk about a few different things in this article that will hopefully help you know what you need to do after getting injured in a car accident.

Here are the topics we will cover. First, we will discuss how to win a car accident lawsuit, and how we can help you with that. Then we will discuss various important and relevant scenarios and accident situations. Then, we will talk about the steps you need to take to win the car lawsuit. Finally, we will detail what you can expect for compensation if you do win the lawsuit.

Let’s jump right into the article.

Handling an Accident on the Road

The actual accident itself can be more damaging to a person than just physical injury. Some people deal with mental and emotional stress due to the trauma of an accident. If you are involved in an accident on the road, you should follow these steps.

Try to Move Your Car

You can’t just sit in the middle of a busy road. We recommend that you try and move your car to a safe location. This isn’t always an option. But if it’s possible, be sure to re-locate and regroup. Now, if your vehicle is extremely damaged, it might be a better option to leave it where it is and wait for authorities. If you are injured in any significant way, we don’t recommend that you try to move your vehicle.

Contact Authorities

This involves getting help from authorities and medical treatment from licensed health professionals. Always seek medical attention after an accident. Sometimes your injuries won’t be evident right away, you should still visit a professional to be screened for possible injuries. Calling the police is extremely important if you expect to win a court case or settlement. The course of the accident must be documented if you are to prove that you deserve compensation. The fault of the accident will need to be proved as well.

Exchange Information With All Parties Involved

We recommend getting three pieces of information. You need all parties’ driver’s license info, license plate number, and car insurance details. Here is a comprehensive list of all of the things that it would be smart to obtain.

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Phone Numbers
  • Insurance Companies
  • Policy Numbers
  • Drivers License Numbers
  • License Plate Numbers

It might also be a good idea to jot down some notes at this time. Detail a solid description of every car including make, model, and the specific color. Write down where the accident took place, and the steps leading up to it. Explain in your own words why the accident happened and who was in the wrong. You don’t need to share this with anyone on scene, but its good to have for your personal records.

Photograph and Document the Accident

Use your camera to document the damage to all the vehicles. Keep in mind that you want your photos to show the overall context of the accident so that you can make your case to a claims adjuster. If there were witnesses, try to get their contact information; they may be able to help you if the other drivers dispute your version of what happened.

Be sure to get this information! It is very important that you have these items if you expect to win a lawsuit.

Document the Accident

You have already written some notes, but it also might be a good idea to pull out your camera and take photos or videos of the scene. Your photos should show the overall scene. It’s a good idea to take some specific ones, but you also want some really general ones that show the scene as a whole. If you see any possible witnesses, ask them for their contact information. They can help you if the other drivers say something in the lawsuit that is false. This information can go a long way in helping you win a lawsuit so it’s something we highly recommend. Don’t leave without getting as much written down as possible!

Final Tip

Our final tip is that you should never admit fault. You aren’t a legal driving expert, therefore, you might not know exactly who was at fault in the situation. Never under any circumstances should you take the blame for an accident. There could be a bunch of factors going on around you, or in other cars that might come out during the lawsuit, and you can’t know those unless you wait. Even if it was your fault, just politely state that you don’t want to talk about it until you have discussed it over with your lawyer. Again, be polite and kind, but don’t allow yourself to be forced or tricked into saying anything that would hurt your case.

How to Win a Car Lawsuit

What you need to prove in order to win the car lawsuit will vary from situation to situation. Different things will need to be provided and backed based on evidence that you bring to the table.

The first thing you need to do when trying to win a car lawsuit is to contact a lawyer who can help fight for your case.

After finding a good lawyer to represent you in court, you will need to file a formal legal complaint, to the court and to the liable party. When you have filed this complaint, a court hearing date will be set up for you to further present your case.

These are the beginning stages of a car lawsuit. Now many people often ask, “How involved do I need to be if I want to win the car accident lawsuit?” Our answer to this is simple, as involved as you want to be.

Different Kinds of Accident SItuations

Here are just a few of the different situations that might compel you to take your accident to court with a lawsuit.

  • The other driver violates traffic laws.
  • The other driver was operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
  • There was a medical emergency resulting from doctoral malpractice which leads to a car accident.
  • A badly maintained road with potholes, sinkholes, or other driving hazards causes a car accident.
  • Dysfunctional traffic lights or other misplaced road signs lead to an accident.
  • An improper re-installation of parts or a defective motor vehicle part causes an accident.

All of these might be valid reasons that you should take the first steps and file a lawsuit.

Lawsuit or Settlement? Which is Better?

You might think at first that you need to take your car accident straight to court to try and maximize the monetary gain you would receive. But that isn’t always the best possible scenario. Sometimes, because of court costs and other fees, you don’t end up making that much in return for the lengthy court case.

In these circumstances, a settlement is the better option. We would recommend you talk to your lawyer or law professionals before making this decision. They have the experience and knowledge to help you get the maximum benefit out of such a poor situation.

Possible Compensation in a Car Accident Lawsuit

First of all, you must prove that another person is the cause of your injuries or damages before you will receive compensation. However, after proving something such as negligence, or liability, you can expect to receive some monetary compensation.

We want to stress that car accidents cause a string of serious injuries, which result in a large amount of financial spending. That is one of the reasons it is important to seek help from a lawyer if you have been injured.

Here is a list of various things that the compensation will cover if you win your court lawsuit.

Medical Bills and Expenses:

  • Property Damage (Car)
  • Lost Hours for your Job
  • Losing Potential Income
  • Rehabilitation
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium

These compensation options offer some incentives for taking your lawsuit to court, just make sure you discuss things with your lawyer before doing so.

Start Settlement Talks by Demand Letter

A settlement is normally the best way to get compensation after a car accident. The best way to engage these settlement talks is by drafting a demand letter.

Now you might think that a demand letter is just a quick write-up, but it actually takes a good bit of time to create. The first thing you need to do is get all of your medical records, which means you need to request them from the medical service provider. Try to do this a quickly as possible because medical providers often take several months to do this. They might charge you a fee as well so just be ready for that.

The next step is to write the demand letter after you have received your medical records. You want the letter to be concise but specific. You need to write in chronological order and specify each date that is important in the settlement. Describe events around the injury, provide expense information, and include medical documents to prove your personal damages.

The letter needs to be specific. Then you simply mail it to the wrongdoer and his attorney. This should get the settlement talks started so that you have a better idea of what time you will be receiving compensation.

The Structure of an Accident Court Case

So you’ve decided to take your case to court and file a complaint, what should you expect? Well, the case procedure normally follows this format.

First of all, your lawyer will draft a formal legal complaint. He or she will then submit it to the appropriate court. You must then serve the complaint on the other driver.

The other driver will receive a notice that they have a certain amount of time to answer the complaint. The time varies from state to state, but the average time is about 20 days.

Then the discovery process begins. You will try to get all of the information you need for your case. You do this by submitting written questions called “interrogatories” and vice-versa. You can also schedule a deposition for witnesses and can use this information in court. This time is important to focus on. Otherwise, you could be unprepared for some of the various scenarios presented in the case.

Finally, the trial takes place on a set date. You should expect a judge or jury to hear and decide on your case. Be aware that trials can be time-consuming and expensive.

Choosing a Car Accident Lawyer

 If communicating with a lawyer is so important, finding one is equally crucial to winning a car accident lawsuit in court. Most law firms offer free consultations, so we recommend finding one in your area that will provide you with an initial conversation.

Here are some things you can do before you contact a lawyer.

Final Thoughts

Talking to a lawyer and getting help is the most important thing you can do after an accident. Law professionals have all the information you need and can represent you in court while handling all of the paperwork.

A settlement is often the better option when it comes to a car accident lawsuit. But it isn’t always the case, it depends on the extent of your injuries and personal damages. Call a law professional today and have them help you get the compensation you deserve.