Every single year, more than 3 million people in the United States suffer injuries because of a car accident.
Aside from the physical damage this causes, it can also lead to emotional stress, and even financial worries, if you can no longer work because of your injuries.
This leads many people to pursue a motor vehicle accident lawsuit to receive compensation for their injuries and distress.
If you’re thinking of filing a car accident lawsuit, it’s helpful to know what to expect during the process. Continue reading this guide to help you feel more prepared for the next steps.
Finding a Car Accident Lawyer
The first step is to find a vehicular lawyer who can help you with your case. Do some online research and read reviews of attorneys who have experience in cases like yours.
Then, contact a local law firm to set up an initial consultation. You’ll want to bring any evidence from your accident with you, like photos of the scene, a police report, and witness statements.
The more information you can provide a lawyer, the better they can represent your case.
File the Lawsuit
Once you’ve hired a lawyer, they’ll help you decide whether your case can be settled without a lawsuit. If it can’t, then they’ll file a complaint on your behalf.
During this time, they’ll work with the insurance company of the negligent driver to answer the complaint within a certain time frame. If the insurance company isn’t compliant, the lawsuit process continues.
This is when you’ll get a court date. Keep in mind that it could be more than a year away, as this is often not a quick process.
Depending on your case, the judge may require mediation between your party and that of the other driver. During the mediation session, you and your lawyer will meet with the other driver and their lawyer, working with an impartial mediator.
If you can mutually reach an agreement, great! This means you won’t have to go to trial. Otherwise, the process continues.
During the discovery phase, your lawyer will gather as much evidence as possible for your case. This includes interviewing witnesses and relevant experts. You may have to sit for an interview under oath at this time.
The negligent driver’s lawyer does the same thing at this time, and both sides must share the evidence they find.
Settlement or Trial
If possible, both sides will continue to try to come to an agreement or a settlement during the discovery phase. While you often get less money if you agree to a settlement, it may be worth it to finish the process without a lengthy court case.
If the sides can’t reach a settlement, then the case goes to trial in front of a judge and jury, where final terms are decided.
Know Your Rights During a Motor Vehicle Accident Lawsuit
Now that you know more about the motor vehicle accident lawsuit process, you can feel more confident in your decision about whether it’s right for your case.
By working with an experienced lawyer, you can get the compensation you deserve after an accident.
Looking for more legal tips? Browse through some of our other helpful articles today.