If you are injured in a vehicular collision as a result of someone’s fault, you have a legal right to claim compensation for your injuries, loss of income, pain, and suffering. There are different things you should understand before you sue the other party. Keep on reading to gain a better understanding of the settlement basics in a car accident lawsuit.
Report the Accident
When you are involved in a road accident, make sure you report the collision to the police. Law enforcement agents will be dispatched to the scene to conduct their investigations. You must get a police report with the details of the accident. Without a police report, it will be a futile exercise to sue someone for negligence since their insurance company will dispute the claim.
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
Though you can sue for damages suffered in an accident on your own, it is vital to enlist the services of, not only an experienced car accident lawyer but also someone who specifically specializes in your city’s laws. If you’re a Perth resident for example, it is only natural that you seek out someone who usually handles similar situations in the same legal and geographic context. You should look for reputable car injury lawyers in Perth to help you file a lawsuit. Car accident lawyers have the expertise required in dealing with injury cases. Reputable attorneys offer free consultation, and they can give you the right advice about appropriate steps to take when you decide to file a lawsuit.
Before you file a car accident lawsuit, it is crucial to prove that your injuries were caused by someone’s negligence. Negligence consists of the following components.
- Duty of care: The other party had a responsibility to exercise care in their interactions or dealings with you.
- Breach: They breached that duty of care by their negligent behavior.
- Causation: The defendant caused your injuries as a result of failing to act reasonably.
- Damages: You have experienced financial losses as a result of the accident
You must have documents such as a medical report, medical bills, and receipts for other expenses incurred while seeking treatment to support your claim. You also need to collect photographic and video evidence from the accident scene.
Send a Formal Demand Letter
When you have gathered all the necessary evidence to support your claim, the next step is to send a letter of demand to the insurer. In this letter, you will explain the reasons for the demand, describe your injuries, and state the amount of money to settle the case without litigation or court appearance. Make sure an experienced attorney drafts the letter, and you should anticipate there being an independent evaluation.
Pre-litigation Settlement Negotiations
When both parties involved have reviewed the details and responded to the letter of demand, they can engage in pre-litigation negotiation. This allows them to settle the claim before filing a lawsuit. If the offer is fair, you can agree to receive it. However, if you fail to reach an amicable agreement, you can file a lawsuit. This means your case will proceed to court where a judge will hear it. Make sure you have sufficient evidence to support your claim since you cannot afford to lose once the case has progressed to this point.
You should be aware of the time limit within which you must file your car accident lawsuit otherwise you may lose your legal right to get a settlement for injuries. In some states, this period is also known as the statute of limitations, and it is two years. It is vital to work with your attorney so you do not miss the deadline.
How Long Does a Car Accident Injury Claim Procedure Take?
When you file a car accident lawsuit, you should not expect to get a settlement overnight since the process can take several weeks or months. In some instances, accident claims can take more than a year. This is why most insurance companies prefer to settle injury cases out of court to avoid the long winding route and legal expenses.
However, once you file a lawsuit, your medical progress will determine the time it will take for your injury claim to be finalized. In most cases, the claim will settle when you are stable, and you have reached a point where the injury will not deteriorate. Settlement can take between one and two years depending on your circumstances. Once an agreement is reached in a claim, you cannot revisit the case to seek recourse.
When you are injured as a result of someone’s negligence, you are entitled to get compensation. One way of obtaining a settlement is filing a car accident lawsuit. However, this process can be overwhelming since it takes longer to settle and often involves high legal expenses. Therefore, you must understand the basics first before you file a lawsuit.