Steps Involved In An Auto Injury Lawsuit

Nov 30, 2023 | Personal Injury

If you have been in a car accident and have suffered injuries as a result, you might be unsure of what to do and what to expect, especially if this is your first accident. Whatever your circumstances, a successful outcome in an auto injury lawsuit depends on your ability to understand and navigate the legal system!

In this article, we will walk you through the whole process of filing an auto injury lawsuit, from filing a claim to negotiating a settlement or going to court. This will help you take the right steps towards protect your rights and geting the money you deserve. 

Let’s get started!

Filing An Auto Injury Lawsuit

Anyone who was hurt in a car accident where someone else was wholly or partially at fault can file a personal injury lawsuit. The process of filing a lawsuit for an auto injury can be complicated, so you should talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you through the court proceedings. 

The Auto Injury Claim Timeline

How long your auto injury claim takes to resolve may vary depending on several factors, such as the complexity of your case and whether it goes to trial. Nevertheless, having a grasp of the general timeline can assist you in setting realistic expectations and guaranteeing that you obtain fair compensation for your injuries. Here are the steps involved in an auto injury lawsuit, in order!

File a lawsuit -The first step in an auto injury claim is to file a lawsuit against the liable party (typically, this will be the insurance company of the person who caused your crash; sometimes, it is their employer, or the manufacturer of the vehicle). Once your attorney has filed the lawsuit and served the defendant with a copy of the complaint, both parties enter a period of discovery. During discovery, each side may request information from the other to build their case, such as medical records or witness statements.

Negotiate a settlement – After discovery, your attorney may try to negotiate a settlement. Settlement negotiations can occur at any time before a verdict is reached. If a settlement is reached, the case is closed, and both you and the other party would sign a release form. 

Prepare for trial – If a settlement cannot be reached, the next step is trial preparation. During this time, your attorney (and the defending legal team or attorney, as well) may hire expert witnesses and prepare their evidence to build their case. Jury selection may also occur during this time.

Go to trial –  It’s worth knowing that the vast majority of auto accident claims don’t make it to the trial stage. Going to court can be expensive, time-consuming, and risky for both parties! However, if your attorney feels like the defendant isn’t offering you compensation that reflects what your injuries are worth, litigation may be in your best interests. If your case goes to trial, trials typically lasts a few days to a few weeks, depending on the complexity of the case. During the trial, your attorney and the other side will present their evidence and arguments to a judge or jury. Once the trial is over, the judge or jury will render a verdict.

Appeal the verdict – After the verdict, the losing party may have the option to file an appeal. If there is no appeal, the case is closed. If you win, you will receive compensation for your injuries. The amount of compensation you will win varies depending on the nature of the accident, severity of the injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other factors, but mostly due to how well your attorney presents your case. 

Understanding the timeline of an auto injury claim can help you make informed decisions about your case. Because having quality legal representation can make every stage of the process easier on you, be sure sure to speak with a knowledgeable auto accident injury lawyer who is familiar with these types of cases! 

Building A Strong Case

Constructing a strong legal argument is essential to securing appropriate restitution when filing an auto injury lawsuit. This process involves several key steps, each of which reinforces the credibility of your case. 

To begin with, it is crucial to gather evidence in order to strengthen your case. This process involves obtaining all relevant documents pertaining to the incident, such as official reports from law enforcement, medical records, and statements from witnesses. If you take pictures of the accident scene, any vehicle damage, and visible injuries, it will significantly bolster your argument. The more evidence you have to back up your claim, the stronger your case becomes.

Secondly, it is critical to conduct interviews with witnesses to the incident. This includes conversing not only with the occupants of your vehicle but also with other motorists and bystanders who may be present during the incident. Gathering accounts from these witnesses can provide compelling evidence in a legal context involving automobile collisions; thus, it is critical to communicate with as many eyewitnesses as possible. (Your lawyer may be able to do this after the fact.)

Thirdly, it is crucial to obtain assistance from individuals who have specialized knowledge in the specific area, sometimes referred to as expert witnesses. This may entail seeking advice from medical professionals who can assess the severity of your injuries and determine any long-term effects on your health. Speaking with accident reconstruction specialists may be helpful, as they are able to reconstruct the incident and offer statements about who was responsible; your lawyer likely has connections with these specialists and other professionals who can strengthen your case.

Lastly, it is extremely important that you and your attorney maintain a strong working relationship during the course of your case. Your lawyer has extensive knowledge of complex laws and regulations, and can offer invaluable support when it comes to engaging in negotiations and communications with insurance companies and other parties implicated in the litigation process.

Settling An Auto Injury Lawsuit

As mentioned above, rather than going to trial, many auto injury lawsuits are resolved through negotiations. This offers a quicker and less expensive resolution, though the compensation may be less than what would be granted at trial in some cases. 

  1. To settle an auto injury lawsuit, the first step is to decide between a quicker resolution and a higher settlement amount. An attorney can assist with examining the options available to you and making an informed decision. 
  1. Your attorney sends a demand letter outlining the case and the compensation sought from the other party or their insurer.  
  1. The other party may provide a counteroffer, which the attorney will review with you. Up until both parties agree on a settlement amount, negotiations may go back and forth.
  2. An attorney can explain what to anticipate and keep working to get the highest compensation possible. Upon settlement, a release form confirming no further legal action is needed is signed, and a check is issued. 

Though settling may not be the ideal situation for all cases, it may be a faster and more secure option for those seeking compensation for auto accident injuries. 

Why Having A Lawyer On Your Side Can Make All The Difference In Your Case

The legal process itself, much like a DIY home project, may appear relatively straightforward on the surface, but each case is different, with its own nuances and potential complications, making it difficult to know exactly what to expect. Everything can be going smoothly until, well, it isn’t. It is a good idea to have a lawyer on your side who can help you anticipate any potential pitfalls and guide you through the process with confidence and peace of mind. If you have been injured in an auto accident, you need an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and get you the compensation you deserve. At Ted Machi & Associates, we offer no-cost consultations so you can get the answers you need and find out if you have a case. Reach out to our experienced legal team today to discuss your options!

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