Incidents of car accidents are alarmingly on the rise all over the world, including in the USA. For instance, the database of the Missouri Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) suggest that in 2021 alone, the city of St. Louis, MO, saw more than fifteen thousand car crashes. With about 300,000 people living in the city, this means that every 20th person experiences a car crash. God forbid, if any of you (or someone you know) face such a situation, it is natural to feel baffled. Once the initial mayhem settles down, the best way to deal with the circumstance is to get professional help.
A head-on collision can leave you with severe injuries and irreparable car damage. When you get involved in a car or truck accident due to another driver’s mistake, you can file a lawsuit to be compensated for your losses. Ideally, you should seek legal help after a car crash to help you file the suit. A competent lawyer will ensure that the liable party is held responsible for his actions and compensates you fairly. Below is an overview of what you can expect from a car injury lawsuit.
1. Initial Consultation
When you have been injured in a car accident, hire an attorney to help you. The initial consultation with an auto accident lawyer is usually free. Through the consultation, you can know what options are available based on your case’s strength. The attorney will advise you on the steps to improve your chances of winning significant compensation.
2. Gathering Evidence
If the attorney is confident the other party was liable for the accident, he will want to take over your case. At this time, you won’t have to pay any attorney fees. This is because most lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means that you will pay the attorney fees only after you have been awarded compensation. You won’t pay any fees if you do not win any settlement.
When the attorney takes over your case, the initial tasks would be gathering evidence supporting your allegations. Here, the lawyer can rely on existing pieces of evidence, such as the police report filed after the incident, reports from witnesses, expert witness testimonies, and so on.
3. Demanding Compensation
After gathering evidence, the attorney will work out how much the other driver should pay you. There are no rigid guidelines on how much you will be paid. Usually, the lawyer will consider your financial losses when coming up with the settlement amount.
The lawyer will consider the medical bills you had to pay due to the accident, car repair costs, loss of income, and physical and emotional pain, among others. The professional will have a good idea of how much to demand as compensation based on the circumstances of your case and how much settlement similar cases like yours have been awarded in recent years.
4. Filing a Lawsuit
If the insurance company of the driver at fault agrees to pay the settlement amount, the attorney will follow up with them to ensure the process is completed within a reasonable time. The payout will usually be made to the lawyer, who will then deduct the attorney fees and any other agreed fees before depositing the balance in your bank account.
On the flip side, if the insurance company is unwilling to offer a reasonable settlement, the attorney can advise you to file a lawsuit. The lawyer will do the legwork required to file a suit on your behalf. For instance, he will write the demand letter, serve the claim to the insurance company, and so on.
5. Post-Suit Activities
During the trial, the attorney will work in your best interest to ensure you win. This involves presenting the evidence collected earlier to prove that the other driver was liable for the accident. The lawyer will also mount a strong defense should the other party try to apportion part of the blame on you.
If you win the case, the judge or jury will award you compensation. The amount you will be awarded may or may not be the exact amount the attorney had proposed. In fact, you can end up winning a larger compensation.
The attorney will follow up with the insurance company to ensure your dues are paid quickly.
Car accident injuries can seriously diminish the quality of your life. Therefore, after an accident, you should get an experienced attorney to help you with compensation matters. This may involve negotiating with the other party or filing a lawsuit. The above are five things you should expect from a car injury lawsuit. All in all, your lawyer would be your aide in seeking the best compensation after a car accident.