The legal world can be a mixed bag of complications, obstacles, and concern. There are plenty of people who need to take legal action against a negligent party, yet many don’t for the simple fact that they just don’t know what to expect.
Unfortunately, this is far too common and so many people are left dealing with the aftermath of a car accident without the care and attention they need. Those who are negligent should not get away with their actions and they should be held fully accountable for the damages they cause.
Our firm feels that it’s important for individuals who have sustained injuries to understand what the car accident claims and lawsuit processes look like. By having a firm grasp of what to expect, you can be more prepared and willing to take legal action following a negligence-related crash.
The steps of a car accident case are as follows:
Call our firm today at (888) 425-6070 if you’ve been hurt due to negligence and need to take action.
To learn more about each phase of the process, read below.
Filing Your Car Accident Claim
The first step to take after you have received medical attention is to file the claim with the necessary parties. You should inform your own insurance company of the accident and they can help you go through the motions and communications with the negligence party’s insurance company.
When you file, you need the proper paperwork with accurate information to file the claim. Furthermore, you must ensure that you are filing the claim within the statute of limitations afforded by the state for these types of claims.
For instance, when it comes to lawsuits involving car accident claims, you have three years from the date of the accident to file the civil lawsuit. Your insurance company may have specific deadlines after an accident in which you must file a claim with them.
What Is a Motion to Dismiss?
When you file your car accident claim or lawsuit, the other party and his or her insurance company can file a response. One option they can choose to respond with is a motion to dismiss the case. This is a situation in which the defendant requests that the courts dismiss the case entirely.
The court will review the motion to dismiss based on evidence provided by both sides. Should they decide to dismiss, the plaintiff may have the option to appeal the decision. If the court decides to deny the motion to dismiss, the case may reach the discovery phase.
Evidence Needed In the Discovery Phase
During the discovery phase of a car accident case, the legal counsel for the plaintiff and defendant will meet, accompanied by pieces of evidence, documents, witnesses, and any other assets that they may have to help justify their client’s cases.
It is during this process that many car accident claims are settled because it’s usually one party bringing a significant amount of proof that the other was responsible for the collision. Some of the items brought into the discovery phase can include:
- Photos of the accident scene
- Photos of physical injuries sustained
- Photos of the damage to vehicles
- Police reports
- Recorded statements from both parties
- Medical records
- Witnesses from the scene of the accident
- Expert witnesses such as accident reconstructionists and medical experts
Many times, it is the same evidence from discovery that are present in the event the case goes to trial.
What Is the Insurance Company’s Settlement Offer?
If your legal team is capable of presenting the necessary evidence to show proof, the defendant may make the decision to offer a settlement for the damages you sustained. In some cases, this settlement is justified and is enough to bring an end to the case.
In other situations, the settlement offer may not be adequate. The insurance company—despite claiming liability—may try to save as much money as possible and will work to offer as little as possible to protect their own profits.
Once the settlement offer is out there, you have the option of accepting the offer, countering the offer with something more suitable to cover the damages, or denying the offer outright. This is a decision you should make with guidance from your legal team as they can help you understand whether you’re entitled to more through a trial.
If you accept the settlement, you forfeit the right to any further legal action. If you deny the settlement, you may go to trial.
Do I Need to Go to Trial?
Trial is often a necessary step when insurance companies refuse to adhere to the claim policy and pay out the necessary compensation an injured party needs. This gives plaintiffs the opportunity to prove liability in a court of law.
If a case goes to trial, it’s imperative to have a lawyer who can utilize the necessary evidence and expert witnesses to convince the jury you were the victim and deserve to be compensated for your injuries and damages.
You don’t need to go to trial, but if the settlement offer by the insurance company is not adequate, it may be recommended.
Hiring an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney to Help You Seek Compensation
At Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC, we take the necessary steps to protect the rights of those who have sustained injuries due to someone else’s actions. We work hard to build a strong case on your behalf, so you can feel peace of mind at all times.
Trust in our Atlanta car accident lawyers to help you navigate the process from start to finish. You deserve to hold the negligent party accountable, and when you deserve justice the most, we’ll be there right by your side.
Call our firm today at (888) 425-6070 and speak with our team if you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence.