What Happens in a Car Accident Lawsuit?

What Happens in a Car Accident Lawsuit?

During a car accident lawsuit, your attorney exchanges information with other parties to the lawsuit. They may then negotiate a settlement for the final time, perhaps using mediation. If your attorney and liable parties still do not agree to a settlement, your case will proceed to trial.

However your case concludes, you may find peace of mind knowing that a car accident lawyer is seeking your complete financial recovery.

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What to Do After a Car Accident

Act thoughtfully after your car accident, as your health and financial recovery are both at stake. You will be wise to:

Get Extensive Medical Treatment

Seeking medical treatment after a car accident will:

  • Help you understand the exact injuries you have suffered
  • Ensure you have a treatment plan to follow
  • Ensure you have documentation of how the accident affected you physically

Car accidents are associated with injuries that don’t always have immediate symptoms, including whiplash. You owe it to your health and to the integrity of your case to seek treatment from a qualified medical professional.

Hire a Car Accident Lawyer

Never wait to consult a car accident lawyer who can:

  • Handle every step of your case so you can focus on recovery
  • Protect you from anyone who wants to limit your financial recovery, possibly including insurers
  • Advise you at every turn of your case so you don’t have to worry about the claims process (or legal process if you file a lawsuit)

Car accident lawyers are trained to respond quickly to car accidents, fighting for their clients’ financial recoveries without delay. For this reason, you can find a car accident attorney to take over your case today.

Your Case Will Start with an Insurance Claim

Before considering a lawsuit, your attorney will likely pursue a car accident claim on your behalf. The claims process can be:

  • Confusing
  • Frustrating
  • Stressful
  • Time-consuming

The claims process is also high stakes, as the outcome of your claim will determine whether you have to pay out of pocket for accident-related losses. An experienced car accident lawyer will have a long history of dealing with insurers, and this experience may directly benefit your claim.

Insurers May Employ Bad-Faith Tactics That Prevent a Settlement

Your car accident lawyer will stand between you and the insurers. This will ensure that no bad-faith tactics can adversely affect your case, as such tactics may include:

  • Stalling your claim: When it comes time to pay a car accident victim for accident-related losses, an insurance company may be in no rush. Your attorney will insist that the insurance company proceeds to settlement negotiations as soon as possible so you don’t have to wait for fair compensation.
  • Denying your claim: Insurance companies do not always issue fair decisions. You may receive an unjust claim denial, which your lawyer will appeal.
  • Undervaluing your losses: A fair settlement requires that insurers calculate each of your losses accurately. If the insurance company lowballs any of your losses (medical care, for instance), it will result in a lesser settlement offer than you deserve.
  • Extending lowball settlement offers: A liable insurer may offer multiple lowball settlements. The insurance company may hope that you’ll give into financial stress or tire of the claims process, accepting a lowball offer as a result. With a lawyer handling negotiations, you may be less likely to accept an unfair settlement.

Tens of thousands of car accidents cause fatal injuries each year, while even more cause non-fatal injuries. Insurers deal with the fallout from these accidents, and they may view accident victims more as statistics than people needing assistance.

With a lawyer leading your case, you will have an advocate passionately fighting for all the compensation you deserve.

Reasons Why a Lawsuit May Be Necessary

Since most car accident cases do not go to trial, you might wonder: When are lawsuits and trials necessary?

There are a few possible reasons why your lawyer may urge you to let them file a lawsuit, including:

The Insurance Company Blames You for the Accident

If the insurer claims that you are at fault for the car accident, it may affect:

  • Whether you can receive compensation through insurance
  • Which insurance companies owe you compensation
  • How much compensation each insurer owes you

Your attorney can provide evidence to the insurer that you did not cause the accident. If this evidence does not persuade the insurance company, though, your lawyer may need to file a lawsuit.

The Insurer Refuses to Cover Critical Losses

You should not accept a car accident settlement unless it covers all your accident-related damages. If the insurance company refuses to recognize or accurately value certain damages, this will prevent a settlement agreement (and possibly lead to a lawsuit).

The Insurer Will Not Back Off a Lowball Settlement Offer

In many cases, an auto insurer will offer a lowball settlement, but will eventually re-engage in good-faith negotiations. However, if the insurance company sticks with its lowball offer and refuses to negotiate further, your attorney may have no choice but to file a lawsuit.

Insurance Does Not Provide Fair Compensation (for Any Reason)

If the insurance claims process fails to provide a fair settlement for any reason, your lawyer’s best option may be to file a lawsuit.

Odds are that your case won’t require a trial, but your lawyer should be ready and willing to go to court if necessary.

The Timeline for a Car Accident Lawsuit

If your case reaches the lawsuit stage, the timeline will likely include:

  • Filing the lawsuit: Your attorney will be certain to draft and file the lawsuit in complete, accurate detail with the proper court.
  • Conducting discovery: Discovery is the process of exchanging information about which witnesses and evidence sides plan to present during trial. This process may allow the insurance company (and other defendants) to realize you have a strong case and may compel them to offer a fair settlement.
  • Completing any necessary depositions: A deposition may be part of the discovery process. This involves parties involved in the case giving sworn, recorded testimony. Materials from depositions may be admissible during trial, so you need to be prepared by your lawyer on how to conduct yourself during these proceedings.
  • Engaging in last-ditch settlement talks: After seeing the other sides’ materials during discovery, both parties may return to negotiations for a final attempt at an agreement. A third-party mediator may be part of this process, encouraging both sides to make concessions for the sake of a settlement.
  • Completing a trial: If your car accident lawyer still cannot reach an agreement after mediation, they will proceed to trial. They will present evidence and witnesses and make a verbal case for a fair financial recovery.

A lawyer’s experience will be of great help during a trial and the pre-trial stages.

Your car accident settlement must cover all accident-related damages, which may include:

Medical Costs

Car accident victims often face the cost of:

  • An ambulance ride
  • Emergency medical treatment
  • Diagnostic treatment (including but not limited to imaging services)
  • Hospitalization
  • Medications
  • Specialists appointments
  • Transportation to and from medical appointments
  • Rehabilitation services

Your lawyer will work with their medical experts to evaluate your treatment courses and assign a fair value to medical expenses.

Pain and Suffering

Every car accident has a non-economic cost, and pain and suffering is a common damage among accident victims. This class of damages may include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Physical pain (both acute and chronic)
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Lost quality of life

The severity of injuries and seriousness of your accident can affect the types of pain and suffering you endure. An attorney will arrange for a mental health expert to evaluate you and assign a value to your pain and suffering.

Professional Damages

Car accidents can strike a blow to a victim’s earning power, causing:

  • Lost income
  • Diminished earning capacity (if you have to adjust your role, change jobs, or switch careers because of accident-related injuries)
  • Missed bonuses
  • Lost benefits
  • Lost promotion opportunities

Your lawyer will also consider whether professional harm adds to your pain and suffering.

Vehicle Repairs and Other Property Expenses

The cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle will be part of your case. If you need to replace electronics, clothing, or other personal property, your attorney will also value those replacement costs.

Mental Health Treatment Costs

You may seek counseling, take medication, or pursue other remedies for your psychological and emotional symptoms. If you need acupuncture or other pain-relieving procedures, your attorney will seek fair compensation for treatment costs.

Why Car Accident Victims Hire Capable Lawyers to Represent Them

There are many reasons to trust an attorney after your car accident, with some of the most compelling benefits including:

  • Your health: Many car accident victims choose to hire a lawyer so they can focus wholeheartedly on recovery. You may avoid stress, emotional distress, and physical demands by allowing your lawyer to handle your claim and lawsuit.
  • Financial support: An injury law firm should provide total financial support for your car accident case. Your legal team may even hire experts (and pay their fees) to strengthen your case, posing no additional cost to you. Some law firms have mock trial services that will prepare you for the process ahead.
  • A lawyer’s experience: Prior experience with car accident claims and lawsuits is invaluable. Attorneys have overcome many difficult circumstances in car accident cases, and their problem-solving experience may directly benefit your case.
  • Clear advice about how to act after your car accident: An attorney will provide advice at every stage of your case. You won’t have to burn energy or brain cells wondering if you’re doing the right things—your lawyer will let you know.

Most injury victims cannot manage all the complex demands of a claim or lawsuit, so let a lawyer handle the process for you.

Services You Will Receive from Your Car Accident Attorney

In addition to preparing your case for any necessary trial, your car accident lawyer will:

  • Obtain as much evidence as possible: Your lawyer will secure all evidence that advances your case. This may include eyewitness accounts, video footage, expert testimony, photographs of the accident scene, and a police report.
  • Secure proof of your damages: Documentation of your damages will be critical to obtaining a fair settlement. Your lawyer will gather medical records, medical bills, images of injuries, income statements, invoices, and any other documentation substantiating your damages.
  • Protect your rights: Your attorney will deal with insurance companies directly to protect your rights. In fact, your lawyer will handle every step of the legal process, preventing any attempts to undermine your claim or lawsuit in doing so.
  • Handle administrative duties: Your lawyer will oversee phone calls, written correspondence, paperwork, and other administrative aspects of your case. This will prevent costly errors and ensure your case moves forward as efficiently as possible.

Your lawyer is a resource you can lean on. If you have questions, concerns, or hesitations, your lawyer will provide the advice and answers you need.

The Cost of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer

The last thing a car accident victim should worry about is the cost of hiring an attorney. This is why car accident lawyers use contingency fees, an arrangement in which:

  • The car accident victim (you) does not pay any upfront fees or costs to the law firm
  • The law firm pays all case-related costs and expenses
  • The lawyer only receives a fee if they secure a settlement or jury verdict for the client

This contingency fee structure puts the financial burden of your case on the law firm. This arrangement also gives your car accident attorney ample financial reason to secure as much compensation as possible for you.

Locate Your Car Accident Lawyer Today

Brian Flood, Middletown Car Accident Lawyer

Your attorney may have a limited time to file a lawsuit against liable parties. The sooner you hire your car accident lawyer, the sooner they can gather evidence and build your case for compensation.

You can find a capable attorney through online research, word of mouth, or other means. Find personal injury attorney in Middletown as soon as possible.

Brian Flood


Brian has dedicated his entire legal career to helping accident victims. By choice, he has never represented the interests of an insurance company.

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