If you have been injured in a car accident and are thinking of filing a lawsuit, it is important that you understand the stages of a car accident lawsuit. While every car accident case is unique, most car accident lawsuits follow the same timeline. The following is an overview of the stages of a car accident case.
Hiring a lawyer: Hiring a car accident lawyer is the first step in the legal process. Once you have hired a lawyer, he or she can help you with every aspect of the case. Your lawyer will investigate the circumstances of your case and determine if you are eligible to file for compensation.
Making a demand: Your lawyer will send out a demand letter to the at-fault party and his or her representative. Your demand letter will specify liability issues and the losses and damages you have incurred, including all medical records, bills and your present and future lost wages.
Negotiation and settlement: After the demand letter is sent, your lawyer will attempt to negotiate a favorable settlement on your behalf. This process can be time consuming with many offers, demands, counter offers and counter demands. However, your lawyer can help you set reasonable and realistic goals.
Filing a lawsuit: If a settlement cannot be reached between you and the at-fault party, your lawyer will then file a lawsuit with the appropriate court. Although a lawsuit has been filed, settlement negotiations may continue between you and the at-fault party during the lawsuit.
Fact finding and discovery: After a lawsuit has been filed, your lawyer will start investigating the facts of the case. This may involve collecting evidence such as police reports, witness statements and medical records. All documents and evidence gathered during the discovery process are shared with the other party’s lawyer.
Summary judgement: If your lawyer believes that the evidence you have collected supports your claim for compensation, he or she will file a motion for summary judgment. A summary judgment motion allows a judge to decide a case based on all the evidence collected during discovery. It is up to the judge to either grant the motion or deny it. If it is denied, your case will proceed to trial.
Trial: During trial, the jury will make the final decision about who was at fault and how much compensation should be awarded to the victim. Depending on the complexity of your case, the trial phase may last for several days.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, our experienced and knowledgeable car accident attorneys can help you. We have more than 30 years of experience representing victims of car accidents. Our car accident attorneys are confident about taking your case to court and recovering compensation. Call 203-541-0090.