You may have the right to sue after a car accident, but this is not the only way to get fair compensation. A car accident attorney can explain your options based on the specifics of your accident.
Ways to Pursue Compensation After a Car Accident
There are many possible paths to obtain compensation for a car accident.
These paths generally include:
- Insurance: You may file an insurance claim seeking compensation after your accident. Depending on your state’s statutes, you may file the claim with your insurer or a liable party’s insurer. Your attorney will communicate with the insurance company, seeking the payout you deserve.
- A pre-trial settlement: Your attorney may negotiate a settlement with representatives of liable parties. This settlement may arise before or after your lawyer files the lawsuit. Your attorney may even negotiate a settlement after a trial has begun but before the verdict announcement.
- A judgment following a trial: Some car accident cases proceed to trial. This may occur, among other reasons, when liable parties agree to settle for a fair amount. Civil trials are rare, but sometimes necessary.
Several factors may determine how your case ends. Insurance coverage limits, the value of your losses, and the willingness of liable parties to settle will all play a role in your case’s outcome.
Why You Might Sue Rather Than Accepting an Insurance Settlement
Many accident victims want the quickest possible resolution to their case. However, most are not willing to accept an unfair outcome. When insurance coverage does not provide adequate compensation, suing may be necessary.
You may ultimately file a lawsuit because:
- You have serious, or even disabling, injuries
- You have lost a loved one as the result of a car accident
- Liable parties lack adequate auto insurance
- Your losses exceed the amount of insurance compensation available to you
Each car accident is unique from all others. An attorney will review your case and determine which strategy suits your circumstances.
How Do You Complete a Car Accident Lawsuit?
If your case does require a lawsuit, you want to be ready for what lies ahead. Lawsuits follow strict procedures and rules, and the process is formal and complicated. Remember, though, that many car accident victims choose to have a lawyer plead their case—whether it is an insurance claim or lawsuit.
When you pursue a lawsuit, your attorney must:
- Name all liable parties as defendants: Motorists are generally responsible for accidents, though vehicle defects, dangerous road conditions, pedestrians, and other hazards can also cause car accidents. Liability for your losses stems from the cause of the collision.
- Gather evidence of liability: Your attorney will seek all evidence indicating a party’s liability. Witness testimony, video footage, and a police report may provide useful evidence.
- Create a record of your losses: Your losses will determine how much compensation you deserve. Your lawyer will identify each of your losses, assign them a monetary value, and calculate the total cost of your damages.
- Seek documentation of your damages: Your car accident attorney may prove your damages with doctors’ accounts of your injuries, medical bills, proof of lost income, and other forms of documentation.
- Negotiate on your behalf: Your attorney will lead settlement negotiations for you.
- Complete a necessary trial: If your case proceeds to court, your car accident attorney will represent you throughout your trial.
Handling this process is something a non-lawyer should never do alone – especially when dealing with serious injuries. Focus on your medical treatment while your car accident attorney handles your lawsuit.
Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer to Help With My Lawsuit?
If you need to file a lawsuit, you need to hire an attorney, and there are several reasons you want a lawyer to help you.
By hiring a lawyer, you will:
- Maintain as much time as possible to visit your doctors, rest injured body parts, spend time with your loved ones, and tend to other responsibilities
- Avoid having to pay out of your own pocket to complete a legal case.
- Avoid harmful stress that an insurance claim or lawsuit can cause
- Get the benefits of a firm’s network and financial resources.
Significant compensation is at stake in your lawsuit. Furthermore, the legal process is not one to take lightly. Rather than trying to lead a case while dealing with injuries (and your inexperience), you may decide to let an experienced attorney lead your case. Only you can make this decision.
What Should I Look for in a Car Accident Lawyer?
When you’re considering hiring an attorney for a car accident case, you may consider:
- Their practice areas
- Their case results
- Their client testimonials
- How they treat you during your initial consultation
You may rely on your research and the recommendations of trusted friends or family to find a lawyer for your case.
Recoverable Damages in a Car Accident Lawsuit
The cost of motor vehicle accidents is immense. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fatal accidents alone cost approximately $55 billion in medical care and work losses per year. The scale of all car accidents is even greater, and the cost for an individual victim may also be substantial.
Recoverable damages in a car accident case may include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Lost earning power
- Property damages
- Any other expenses or losses stemming from the accident
It’s your lawyer’s job to determine the cost of each of your losses. They will account for any losses that you may suffer in the future. This process can be complex, and your lawyer may hire experts to help calculate the cost of your damages.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney for Help Today
You do not want to wait before hiring an attorney. Your case may involve deadlines that, should they expire, may prevent you from seeking fair compensation. Call a law firm today about starting your case for awards.