After a car accident, there are likely to be a lot of different questions going through your mind. Questions like, “Am I hurt?”, “How bad is the damage to my car?”, “How much will this cost me?”, among many others. One question you may not immediately think of is “Who do I sue?”. That is understandable since you might have more pressing concerns, but a lawsuit may be what you need to address those concerns. That is because you will likely need compensation to cover any medical bills, repair bills, or other expenses caused by the accident.
If you do plan on pursuing a lawsuit, then you will need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. They can help you to gather the evidence necessary to strengthen your claim, calculate your settlement offer, and negotiate with the insurance company. That makes a lawyer invaluable when filing a personal injury lawsuit. If you are in the Los Angeles area and need an attorney to help you with your personal injury case, then visit personalinjuryking.com to get in touch with a highly qualified attorney.
Determining Liability in a Car Accident
Before you decide to file a lawsuit, you must first determine who is the target of that lawsuit, in other words, you must find out who is liable. In a car accident, that is easy since it is likely the driver who crashed into you, however, proving it may not be that easy. The other driver will likely try to claim that you were partially or completely at fault for the accident so you will need to prove otherwise. A lawyer can help you to gather evidence that can prove that you were not responsible for the accident, but you can help them even before you contact an attorney.
At the accident scene you can take pictures of the damage done to your car as well as the car of the person who collided with you. You should also take pictures of the accident scene in general and make sure to get photos of important details like skid marks, stop signs, or traffic lights. If there were any witnesses, then you should try and get their contact information so that you can call on them later. Once your lawyer gets involved, they will try to get more evidence, like surveillance footage from any surrounding locations. Once this is done they will then move on to the next phase of the process.
The next phase is negotiating with the person who ran into you, or rather, their insurance company. Your attorney will gather all of the evidence they have collected, as well as a total of your expenses and put them in a package that is sent to the insurance company. This is called a demand package and once the insurance company receives it, they will decide whether to accept the offer and pay the settlement amount, make a counter offer, or reject the offer. If they accept the offer, then the case ends here and there is no need to file a lawsuit.
However, if they reject the offer or you do not like their counter offer, then you may have to file a lawsuit. In most states you cannot sue the insurance company directly, instead you sue the driver, and their insurance company pays the settlement amount if the case is successful. Of course, it is possible that the other driver does not have insurance, in which case suing them is pointless. That is because it is unlikely that they will have the financial resources necessary to pay you back for the damage they caused. In cases like these, it is your insurance company that will pay for your accident-related expenses.
What Happens After I File a Lawsuit?
Once you file a lawsuit, the discovery stage of the process begins. This is when the attorneys of each party examines the evidence the other party has gathered so that they can create a counter strategy. Once this is done, both parties enter mediation where they attempt to resolve the case with the help of a neutral third party. This is done to avoid a trial, which can be expensive and take a long time to complete. If mediation fails to yield a result, then the case will head to trial.
Fortunately, most personal injury cases never make it to trial because they get resolved before things get that far. In fact, most personal injury cases get resolved before a lawsuit is even necessary. But you will need an experienced personal injury attorney to give you the best chance of achieving such a result.
Contact an Attorney if You Need to Sue After a Car Accident
Whether or not you decide to sue after a car accident, you will need the help of an experienced attorney. That is because they are the best chance of your receiving the compensation that you need. So regardless of whether or not a lawsuit will end up being necessary, you should get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney after you get into a car accident.