For anyone injured in a car accident, trying to figure out what to do next can be overwhelming. If you are facing medical bills, lost wages, and/or other damages, pursuing a civil lawsuit could be critical to your recovery.
This is why it is important to understand the entire case resolution process, how it works, and how to navigate it. To help with this, we have put together an interactive guide so that you can understand what each step looks like and decide how to best proceed.
A crash between two or more vehicles which causes property damage, personal injury, and other losses.
Personal injury lawyers provide protection to clients who may otherwise lose their rights to compensation.
An attorney will receive a percentage of any settlement or award.
The client-lawyer relationship is built on trust. Once an attorney is hired, all information is kept confidential.
The lawyer launches an investigation to determine who carries responsibility for what happened. They also use this time to verify insurance coverage.
If possible, contact the lawyer before communicating with others about any injuries or about what occurred leading up to the accident.
The injured party’s condition has to show signs of stabilizing before damages can be properly estimated.
Documents that come in handy for a personal injury claim consist of incident reports and photos, witness statements, bills, and a treatment journal detailing the injuries and the impact they have caused.
Usually, injury cases are evaluated by determining the victim’s damages and multiplying by a number between 1 and 5, depending on how severe they are.
The lawyer will present supporting documents to the insurance company with the demanded price for a settlement.
The lawyer and insurance adjuster will debate until a monetary amount is agreed upon.
Clients should not decide until both he or she and their lawyer agree that the insurance company offer is fair and properly values a claim. If the offer seems low, the client has the option to sue.
If the client decides to settle, the case is resolved and the client will sign documents and release forms to receive the agreed upon payment.
The insurance company will process the check and send it to the client’s attorneys, so they can deduct their fees. After legal fees and costs are covered, the client will receive their check.
If the client decides against settling, litigation will begin with the plaintiff suing the defendants (those who are being deemed responsible).
The lawyer will work alongside case managers and paralegals on the client’s case.
Both sides begin preparing their written documentation for the case.
A witness will give sworn testimony under oath during this stage.
The insurance company of the defendant will have a doctor examine the plaintiff to ensure accuracy.
Instead of taking the case to court and having it decided by a judge or jury, both parties can agree to have the case resolved by a private arbitration panel.
When a neutral third-party steps in, they will help negotiate on behalf of both parties if the plaintiff and defendant agree to mediation.
Personal injury cases require a lot of preparation, which often requires both time and money.
A judge or jury will decide the outcome of the case.
If the defendant is responsible for harming the plaintiff in some capacity, the amount of damages the defendant is required to pay will be determined.
A business or individual that is able to afford the damages owed, will typically pay them to avoid further penalties. If the party whom owes damages cannot or will not pay, the plaintiff will have to pursue further action.