The financial responsibility after a car accident could fall on a few different parties, depending on your state and the facts of your case. If you live in a no-fault state, each driver files a claim through their own insurance regardless of who caused the accident. If you live in an at-fault state, you may be able to file a third-party claim through the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached and you need to file a personal injury lawsuit, the at-fault driver may end up paying out of their own pocket to compensate you for your accident related losses.
How Does a Lawsuit Work for a Car Accident?
Some states require you to file a claim through your own insurance before you can file a car accident lawsuit. In any case, it is generally a good idea to consult with a car accident lawyer right away, as they have more experience dealing with auto insurance claims and can correspond with the insurance company and answer their questions for you.
However, if your lawyer and the insurance company are unable to come to an agreement on a fair settlement amount, a car accident lawsuit may be the best next step. Your attorney can submit the proper filings to the appropriate court within the statutory deadline on your behalf.
Once your lawyer files your car accident injury lawsuit, there is a “discovery” process where both sides share their evidence, which may include dash cam footage, police reports, medical records, photos taken after the accident, and more. You may also have to give a deposition, during which the defendant’s lawyer would ask you questions about the accident under oath.
After depositions, there will typically be a mediation period where both sides try one more time to settle outside of court. Car accident lawsuits rarely go to trial, but an attorney in our network would not hesitate to take your case to court if an agreement could not be reached.
How Much Can You Get from a Car Accident Lawsuit?
The average settlement in a car accident lawsuit is around $20,000, but the amount you may be entitled to depends on the circumstances of your accident. The cost of your medical bills, damage to property, and any wages lost during recovery time all factor into the amount a person might get from a car accident lawsuit. In a car accident injury lawsuit, unlike an insurance settlement, you may also be able to collect damages for emotional distress and pain and suffering.
How Long Does a Car Accident Lawsuit Take?
Car accident lawsuits can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few years to settle, depending on the facts of the case. For example, if your injuries from the accident are extensive, you may need to wait for your treatment to be fully completed before the lawsuit can move forward, simply because there needs to be a final total for your medical bills. Information or evidence you provided may also be disputed by the defense, which can also delay the car accident lawsuit process.
There for You when No One Else Is
Take all the uncertainty out of a crash by working with CarAccident.Law. We can advise you on what steps to take after an accident, offer resources to simplify the process, and provide legal assistance along the way.