Car accidents are awful affairs that leave you reeling. Whether you experienced a small fender bender or a fatal pile-up, automobile accidents exact terrible costs physically, financially, and emotionally. Though some crashes occur due to uncontrollable elements, many car accidents directly relate to someone’s improper driving. If you decide to pursue legal action in light of your accident, this is what to know before filing a car accident lawsuit and making any permanent decisions.
Car accidents are a type of personal injury incident where you or someone you love experienced harm at another person or entity’s hands. Personal injury law seeks compensation for the damages you endured due to the injurious actions of another.
In any car accident, you file a claim with your insurance company to cover the costs associated with the accident. If you have an automobile insurance policy, you have likely paid an agency for years to cover your risks. However, the insurance company you’d sue is not your own but the at-fault driver’s agency. If their payout is nowhere near what you feel you deserve or need to cover the costs of the accident, you should pursue legal action.
A legal professional is the only person qualified to provide a knowledgeable estimate for the damages you suffered. You may feel under-compensated, but a lawyer can affirm these suspicions. You will want to speak with a lawyer specializing in car accidents, such as our Idaho lawyers at Rossman Law Group. A lawyer with the right understanding of the field can tell you from experience whether a case like yours warrants a full-on lawsuit.
Now, a car accident lawsuit is no small matter. Like any other in-court lawsuit, it is expensive, time-consuming, and open to interpretation. Many car accident claims against insurance agencies settle outside of court because of these roadblocks. In order to avoid the drawn-out process in a legal battle, your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance agency for the amount you deserve. If you feel that the final amount that results from these deliberations isn’t adequate, you can push the matter to a court of law.
Every legal proceeding relies upon a solid foundation of evidence. The success of your court case rests on your ability to procure the right documents and information. You will need key pieces of evidence such as insurance claims and medical bills to make your case well.
Insurance documentation is critical to the success of your lawsuit. Without accurate information about the claims and policies for you and the at-fault driver, you won’t present a full account of the situation. These records are essential because they give hard and fast numbers to describe your financial distress. It is difficult for an insurance company to skirt around a black-and-white description of your damages compared to their offered sum. Collect all information related to your and the at-fault driver’s insurance, so you have an airtight report of the accident.
Evidence in a legal setting must directly tie to your claimed damages, so these medical records should correlate with the injuries you sustained. This way, someone couldn’t present months-old medical bills for unrelated injuries. Here is where the medical records come in. The medical bill only shows the treatments you received and their cumulative cost. The medical record will show the exact procedures, doctor’s notes, and treatment plans for your specific injuries.
Treatment plans are critical to the process because they outline the medications and rehabilitation information and imply the damages to your professional life. Though you may consider the financial damages related to bills and costs, you must also account for the loss of income. A car accident can leave people unable to physically move in a job-critical capacity, rendering them unable to work for weeks or months at a time. These costs build up and result in tremendous professional stress.
Car accident damages typically relate to the physical and financial repercussions of the event. However, there is an emotional side to everything that, if significant enough, you can argue for additional compensation. If you visited a psychologist or therapist due to your car accident, you could argue for monies to cover these appointments.
Once you’ve accumulated all the evidence and consulted with your lawyer at length, you should decide whether to settle or sue. Your lawyer’s opinion is the key in this deliberation, but you are the one who ultimately makes the final decision.
When you move forward with a lawsuit, you must first file a complaint. Though you filed a claim at the beginning to initiate the back-room negotiations, a complaint is the first step in a lawsuit. Once the legal system processes your complaint, they will serve the defendant with a copy of the complaint and a summons. These items lead to the defendant’s response and the subsequent mutual act of discovery where both parties trade information.
As these pre-trial situations occur, you will work with your lawyer to organize and present your evidence. You’ll also practice what to say when called to the stand. If this is your first time in a courtroom, you may feel nervous. But practice with your lawyer will ensure a winning response to all questions and conversations.
With all the documentation and preparation complete, the court date arrives. You and your lawyer will explain and defend your lawsuit against the insurance agency in a courtroom. Here, you’ll present all relevant information and evidence to win the judge or jury’s hearts and minds. After deliberation, the presiding adjudicating body will deliver their verdict and settle the suit, finally ending your case.
Once you grasp what to know before filing a car accident lawsuit, you can make an informed and reasonable decision. Lawsuits are no small matter, and you will want to consult with a reputable legal aid before you file formal documentation. If you have any questions regarding your accident or need sound legal counsel, reach out to our team of experts at Rossman Law Group today.