The steps that go along with dealing with a car accident case can vary. After all, the car accident that you were involved in might be very different from the car accident that someone else was involved in, even if some of the details seem similar. Additionally, the ways that car accident cases are handled can vary from state to state. If you hire a car accident attorney to help you with your car accident case, however, there are certain steps that you can typically expect, including the ones below.
The first step of the average car accident case is the consultation stage. Your car accident attorney shouldn't charge you for this consultation. During this time, they should sit down with you to talk to you about your case and to tell you a little more about their legal services.
Follow-Up Information Requests
Once you have hired a car accident attorney, they may contact you to ask for more information or documentation. It's best to answer these follow-up information requests in a timely manner. Then, you can help your car accident attorney be fully prepared to handle your case, and you can help prevent delays with your case.
Filing of a Complaint
Once your attorney has all of the information that they need, they will typically file a complaint against the defendant. This lets the defendant know that you are taking legal action against them because of the car accident case. A good attorney should be able to fill out and file this paperwork with the appropriate courts without any issues.
Negotiating a Settlement
In many cases, car accident cases never go to trial. This is because car insurance companies often find that it makes more financial sense for them to simply offer a settlement since they then don't have to worry about all of the legal fees and other similar expenses that can go along with a traditional trial. Your attorney might suggest that you take the first settlement that you are offered, or they might negotiate with the insurance company to try to get a bigger settlement for you.
Going to Court
If the other party's insurance company never offers or agrees to the settlement amount that you and your car accident attorney think is fair, then your lawyer will probably continue forward to take your case to trial. This can take a while since various court dates might have to be set and evidence will have to be presented at the trial. Hopefully, if your case does end up making it to trial, the jury will find for your side. Then, the judge may order that the defendant's insurance company pay you a set amount of money to cover your medical expenses and more.