Dealing with legal matters is not easy for most people. When you are injured in a car accident, you must understand the lawsuit process. Besides being a traumatic experience, medical costs for your injuries and any damages incurred can be high.
The law entitles you to file a legal claim for compensation by the negligent party if you are involved in an accident that was not your fault. You can also file a lawsuit if you don’t get a satisfactory settlement from the insurance firm. The following tips will help you file a successful lawsuit:
Hire an attorney
Although you can file the lawsuit yourself, an experienced attorney will be a great asset to your lawsuit. A competent car accident lawyer will assess your case and guide you through all stages of your lawsuit.
Once you decide to hire professional legal representation, you should consider the following;
- Who to hire – most lawyers specialize in specific law practice areas such as business law, family law, or personal injury law. It would be best to have a certified personal injury lawyer to handle your car accident lawsuit. You should also select a lawyer with a great track record of wins for suits like yours.
- What to expect – a good attorney should quickly determine the evidence and elements essential to winning your case. They must treat you respectfully and make you feel comfortable working with them as you recover from the accident. If you have any queries, you should receive prompt answers from a staff member or an attorney. Besides accompanying you to court sessions or meetings, your lawyer should explain
the legal process.
- Lawsuit fees – most motor vehicle accidents are taken based on a contingent fee. There is no fee if you lose your case. This means that you can be confident that your lawyer expects to win when they agree to take on your case. A typical fee is about a third of the total settlement.
Alternatives to lawsuits
You can pursue claims before trial through several alternative options for settlement. You can get your case closed without the long lawsuit process and save some legal fees. The following are some of the most common alternative methods;
- Mediation – all parties involved in the lawsuit voluntarily reach an agreement after meeting with a certified mediator.
- Consumer complaints – you can make the insurer pay for the claims by complaint to the state insurance department. The insurance company must comply with fair play rules since they are licensed.
- Arbitration – following a pre-meeting agreement, an impartial arbitrator reaches a binding decision to resolve the dispute.
Options for court
There are a few options for court if the matter is not resolved before filing a lawsuit. Time limits, commitment, and the amount of damages you seek play a major role in your decision.
● Small claims court – this court is a good option when your damage claims are small. The process is quick and simple since you can represent yourself. The smaller amount ranges from $1,500 to $25,000, depending on the state. However, there are no official rules for evidence presentation.
● Civil court lawsuit – to file your suit in civil court, you need professional legal advice. Also, when you have an attorney, you are likely to recover more. These types of lawsuits are filed in the state of occurrence of the car accident. Compared to small claims courts, the process is slower and more costly.
You are adequately prepared when you understand the process involved in a car accident lawsuit. Working with an experienced car accident attorney ensures better and faster results. Don’t forget to discuss your case in advance by taking advantage of free consultations.