How to File a Car Accident Lawsuit
Ever been in an accident you think is the other driver’s fault?
If you drove in accidents in the past year, 8 out of 10 of the drivers you shared the road with probably drove aggressively.
Some of those drivers got into a car accident, and they thought it was the other driver’s fault. You may be one of those drivers. You think you got into an accident, but you don’t know if or how to go about filing a car accident lawsuit.
Want to know how to file a car accident lawsuit? Keep reading.
Seek Medical Attention
Filing a lawsuit is more than just calculating damages. Seeking medical attention should be the first step a victim takes after the accident. The victim should obtain thorough medical evaluations and care, regardless of whether they feel pain or not.
Even minor crash symptoms can develop into more serious issues, so it’s best to get help from a health professional. Detailed information on the medical evaluations should be provided to the auto insurance adjuster as part of filing a car accident lawsuit.
Gather The Evidence
If you decide to file a lawsuit, the first step is to gather the evidence that is required to prove your case. This evidence includes:
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Damage to your vehicle
- Police reports
- Medical bills
- Witness statements
- Any other documentation
It’s essential to properly document the accident and know your legal rights to ensure the best possible outcome for your case. It is important to preserve any physical evidence that can be used in court, such as photographs, skid marks, and damaged vehicle parts. Additionally, your medical records from treating professionals should reflect the car accident injuries sustained to prove causation and the proper extent of damages.
Consult an Attorney
Filing a car accident lawsuit can be a daunting process. Therefore, consulting an experienced attorney to guide you through the process is highly recommended. The attorney will explain what types of compensation and damages you may be eligible for and the costs and potential outcomes. They will also help you decide whether to pursue a personal injury or property damage claim.
The lawyer will take you through any other requirements, such as gathering evidence and filing paperwork with the court. They can also help you negotiate the average settlement for accidents before the case goes to trial. It is important to keep accurate records of all expenses related to the lawsuit, such as court costs and legal fees.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contacting one’s insurance company after a car accident is crucial when filing a lawsuit. The company will send an adjuster to investigate the accident, review all the available evidence, and offer a car accident settlement based on the results. The adjuster will assess the damage done, the medical expenses related to the accident, the lost wages the injured person incurred, and the amount of pain and suffering the injured party endured.
If the settlement offered is less than what the injured party feels is listed, they can attempt to negotiate a new offer or take legal action. This is when filing a lawsuit may become necessary.
Review the Statute of Limitations
When filing a car accident lawsuit, it is important to review the statute of limitations applicable to the jurisdiction in which you are filing. The statute of limitations is a period during which legal action must be taken for a case to be filed. If a case is filed outside of the statute of limitations, it may be dismissed entirely.
Generally, the statute of limitations on a car accident is two years, but it may vary depending on your state or jurisdiction. To file a car accident lawsuit, you should research local regulations to be sure of the time. Additionally, be aware of personal injury laws and other statutes related to filing and litigation.
Draft and File the Complaint
Drafting and filing a complaint is the first step in a car accident lawsuit. Fill out the appropriate forms to initiate the complaint and have it notarized if necessary. Take the document to the courthouse clerk’s office and duplicate copies.
Have the clerk serve the complaint on the other driver. Include a return receipt and proof of service. These documents must be filed with the court within the specified deadline.
Go to the hearing and be prepared to present evidence and testimony. Be prepared for both legal arguments and questioning from the judge and the other driver. If a settlement is reached, make sure it is in writing and agreed upon by everyone involved. If the case goes to trial, be prepared for further hearings, testimony, evidence, and possible appeals.
Serve the Defendant
This is done by providing the defendant with a copy of the complaint, which is a written statement describing the details of the lawsuit that the plaintiff has filed against the defendant. Serving the defendant must occur within a certain period, as outlined by the individual state’s laws.
After the defendant has been served, they must enter a response that accepts or denies the claim against them and then appear in court to answer to their defense. These steps must be followed to officially initiate a car accident lawsuit.
The Discovery Phase
This phase typically occurs after initial pleadings like the Complaint and Answer have been filed. During Discovery, both parties request information, documents, and testimony from one another through formal requests like interrogatories, requests for production, and requests for admission.
The parties can also use the process of depositions to question witnesses and other parties with knowledge of the accident. Discovery allows the parties to lay out their respective cases in preparation for a hearing or trial.
This process includes preserving evidence, interviewing experts, and engaging in any other activities that may ultimately assist in proving or disproving liability or damages, thus making Discovery a critical part of a car accident case.
Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
Filing a car accident lawsuit is a complex process; but with the right legal advice, preparation, and approach, you can maximize the success of your case. Taking the steps outlined in this article will help give you the best chance of recovering compensation for your losses and damages.
If you are facing a car accident lawsuit, it is best to find legal counsel that can provide you with all the guidance, information, and experience necessary for a successful outcome.
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