When you are injured in a car accident, you have the right to receive fair compensation from the liable party. Car accidents are often traumatizing, and it could result in permanent disability. Some accident victims become victims of quick settlement schemes, hence, they hesitate to file a lawsuit.
Don’t be intimidated by the process, but instead take steps to seek justice. Car accidents are different; therefore, the circumstance and unique facts will dictate which legal path to follow.
Here are the steps that you should take when you are seeking justice after a car accident.
1. It Starts with Investigation
Once you have been in an accident, you should first prioritize your health and safety. Never flee from the accident scene, and if you or anyone isn’t harmed, you should do the initial investigation. Collect contact information from eyewitnesses and take photos of the accident scene. Most of the time, the police will arrive at the scene and remove the vehicles; this might tamper with crucial evidence. Besides, gather witness testimonies, medical records, physical evidence, and the police report. The evidence gathered during the investigation will help prove your innocence later on as you pursue justice.
2. Hold Negotiations
It’s always advisable to seek help from an attorney when you are involved in an accident. You stand a higher chance of receiving a better compensation package with the help of a lawyer, than when you negotiate on your own. If you don’t have an attorney, you can visit here and look for a qualified attorney who will work hard to get justice for you and your family.
Before you file a lawsuit, your attorney will try and negotiate a settlement deal with the insurance company. However, insurance companies are known to offer the least compensation during accidents, but they will try and settle the dispute out of court. An experienced attorney will negotiate the best deal since they have previously worked on similar cases.
3. The Case is Settled, or A Lawsuit is Filed
When the insurance representatives offer a settlement deal, you can consult your attorney on whether to accept the agreement or proceed with filing a lawsuit. If the offer is too low, you can decide to file a lawsuit. It could take a while for your case to be heard.
In the meantime, your attorney should gather all the evidence, hire expert witnesses, file court documents, and take the time to communicate with the insurance company’s defense counsel. As you pile up evidence, your attorney will probably advise you not to issue any statements or post incriminating evidence on social media platforms.
Soon after you have filed a lawsuit, the court will recommend that you settle the matter with the insurance company out of court.
A moderator will moderate the negotiations, and in case you settle on a deal, the arbitrator’s decision would be considered binding.
5. The case goes to Trial, or You Agree on a Settlement Deal
If the arbitrator fails to settle the case, then the case goes to trial. The lawsuit can be resolved once the plaintiff and the defendant reach an agreeable settlement offer. However, if no deal has been reached, both sides will present their case before a judge.
With the help of an experienced attorney, you stand a higher chance of winning the case. Once the judge hears both sides of the case, they will pass judgment.
6. You can Appeal the Decision
Both parties have the right to appeal the verdict after the Trial. However, the appeal could take months; hence it would be advisable to agree on dealing with the insurance agents.
Before you are granted an appeal, your attorney should request a review by the high court or file a new trial motion. If you have new evidence or can prove that there was jury misconduct, you could have a new trial.
Once the car accident lawsuit has been resolved, through a courtroom verdict or a pre-trial settlement, you will have to wait for the compensation. Most trial cases require that the insurance company pays you 30 days after the decision.
The insurance company should pay interest in case they default payment. However, if an appeal case or defendant has filed a pre-trial lawsuit, you won’t receive the compensation despite the verdict.
The justice system often takes time; therefore, it’s always advisable to settle car accident cases outside the court. However, should you decide to go to Trial, you should seek legal representation from an experienced attorney. With the attorney experience, you stand a better chance of receiving fair compensation.