Being involved in a car accident can be a distressing experience, leaving you in pain and uncertain about your next steps. Questions may arise, such as whether legal action is necessary or if you should seek the guidance of a lawyer. The need for litigation depends on the extent of your injuries and the negotiations with insurers. It is important to note that hiring an experienced car accident lawyer is not mandatory as our friends at Strong Law Accident & Injury Attorneys will explain, but some victims choose to do so in order to prioritize their recovery.
Most car accident insurance claims are typically resolved without the need for a lawsuit. However, there are some cases where a resolution cannot be reached outside of court. This could happen if both parties disagree on who is at fault for the accident. They may also agree that the victim was injured, but cannot come to an agreement on the appropriate amount of compensation for their injuries and losses. If your car accident case does proceed to trial, there are a few things you should be prepared for.
What To Expect If My Car Accident Case Goes To Court
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), negligence may not be intentional, but it still holds individuals accountable for the injuries they inflict. Typically, the initial course of action for seeking compensation involves filing an insurance claim.
If attempts to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company of the driver responsible for the accident prove unsuccessful, your case may proceed to court. Here is some of what you can expect:
Each state has its own unique set of regulations that govern trials. In a car accident case, the key issues are typically decided by a jury rather than a judge. Typically, a jury consists of twelve individuals, although the number may vary.
After the jury selection and opening statements, the plaintiff’s side will have the opportunity to present their case first. This is because the plaintiff bears the “burden of proof.” Your attorney will be able to present evidence in support of your case, including calling witnesses to testify. These witnesses will provide their observations regarding the cause of the crash.
In the event of an accident, it is crucial to seek medical attention and meticulously record all medical expenses to support your case. A doctor’s testimony regarding the injuries you sustained can play a vital role in strengthening your claim.
Once your lawyer concludes presenting your case to the jury, it will be the defense’s turn to present their arguments. Typically, the defense will call witnesses to counter the testimony provided by the plaintiff’s side to the jury.
Proving Negligence In Your Car Accident Case
In a personal injury claim, establishing negligence is crucial to secure a court award or reach a settlement with the insurance company. Here is a closer look at the four key elements of a negligence claim:
Duty Of Care
The other driver has an obligation to responsibly operate a motor vehicle, exercising appropriate care for the safety of fellow motorists and passengers on the road.
Breach Of Duty
The other driver failed to fulfill their duty by engaging in actions or omissions that endangered another individual. For instance, the driver surpassed the designated speed limit or disregarded a red traffic signal at an intersection.
The driver’s failure to fulfill their duty resulted in your injuries, thereby establishing their legal liability for the harm you suffered and the losses you incurred.
Legally speaking, the term “damages” encompasses the injuries and losses you suffer due to an accident. These may include physical and psychological harm, lost wages resulting from missed work or inability to perform your duties, as well as property damage.
Your attorney can assist in assessing the financial worth of your economic and non-economic losses, encompassing emotional distress, disfigurement, and the deprivation of enjoyable activities.
Do Not Miss Your Opportunity To Seek Compensation
If you are considering pursuing legal action against the driver responsible for your accident, it is crucial not to procrastinate. Each state has its own statute of limitations or timeframe for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Although these laws differ across states, the countdown typically commences on the day of the accident. Act promptly to protect your rights.
Consider consulting a personal injury attorney to guarantee timely filing of all necessary paperwork, thus safeguarding your chance to seek rightful compensation.
How A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
From negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company to representing you in court, a car accident attorney is there to provide assistance. They will meticulously investigate the specifics of your accident, gather evidence and eyewitness testimonies, and construct a compelling case on your behalf. With their expertise and dedication, you can rest assured that your interests are being safeguarded.
Whether you find yourself needing to go to court or not, it is always wise to seek the counsel of an experienced car accident lawyer. From handling your case right from the beginning, including filing an insurance claim, to providing a free initial consultation, a lawyer is for you. Rest assured, a lawyer is not afraid to take on even the most challenging cases.