If you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost time from work, and other financial losses. You may also be entitled to compensation for your emotional pain and suffering. You would have to see a car accident lawyer to start the process of a personal injury claim.
Of course, just because you have the right under the law does not mean that the responsible party or your insurance company will be happy to cut you a check. Most auto accident cases are handled through insurance, and insurance companies rarely pay in full voluntarily – even when their insured was clearly at fault for causing the collision. In fact, insurance companies and their attorneys use a variety of techniques to try to convince you to accept much less than what is owed to you. As a result, in order to get the compensation you deserve, you will typically have to hire an accident attorney to file a personal injury claim on your behalf. Let’s take a look at what to expect once you hire a personal injury attorney to represent you.
Resolving Your Claim
Most claims are resolved through insurance. Filing a personal injury claim does not necessarily mean you are going to trial. The vast majority of cases are resolved without the victim having stepped into the court. Once you have an accident attorney on your side, you can generally expect the insurance company (or companies, if more than one party was responsible for the accident) to play ball, and this typically results in a satisfactory settlement offer. However, this is not always the case. Some insurance companies are more difficult to deal with than others, and sometimes the parties cannot reach an agreement. This is most common when there is a dispute over who caused the collision.
If no fast and fair settlement is on the table, your car accident lawyer prepares your case for trial. Even during the initial settlement attempt, your attorney will have hired investigators to gather details about the accident, and you will have seen doctors and therapists to determine the full extent of your physical and emotional injuries. All of this is evidence that your attorney will present in court.
In addition, after your attorney officially files your lawsuit, each party can take what we call “discovery.” Discovery involves producing documents, answering written questions, and taking depositions. The most important thing to know about the discovery is that you need to be open and honest during the process. Your attorney will fight to make sure that you are not sharing more information than you absolutely have to.
The Litigation Process
In the background, your attorney will be filing motions, digesting the evidence, and developing a strategy to win your case. Even after the lawsuit is filed, it is still possible for the parties to settle, and it is not unusual for cases to be resolved at various stages throughout the litigation process. However, if your case goes to trial, you can expect your attorney to fight vigorously and use all the tools available to him to win the compensation you deserve.