Did you know that millions of people suffer non-fatal physical injuries every year due to car accidents? While those injuries don’t kill, they may cause disability for life, which calls for a fair settlement in compensation for what the victim endured.
As a known fact, most car accidents cases settle without the need to sue anyone, but sometimes the driver’s insurance company doesn’t agree on the coverage. Accordingly, people often head for a car accident lawsuit. For a successful lawsuit, you’ll need an experienced attorney and a thorough reading of this article!
Is It Worth Suing After a Car Accident?
Before suing the at-fault party, people usually try reaching a settlement to avoid the headache of going to court and dealing with all the paperwork. The first thing you should know about car accident settlements is that they don’t have a specific value. Instead, you’ll most probably ask for a range from the insurance company.
To calculate a settlement amount, your lawyer will add the losses and damages you went through because of the crash and assign them a monetary value. So even if you’ve had a full recovery from the accident, you still have the right to ask for the money.
To put things into perspective, if your lawyer values your case at $30,000 to $50,000, and the at-fault driver’s insurance provider offers $40,000, you’ll definitely take it. But on the other hand, if the settlement offer stops at $25,000, you’ll want to think twice before accepting it instead of the full amount.
Either way, you should keep in mind that proceeding to trial will take much more time than settlement talks. It’ll also cost you money and effort because you’ll have to find an attorney.
Accordingly, if you don’t have enough patience for legal action, you should talk with your car accident lawyer about your options. If you want a second opinion, you can speak to the lawyer referral service about your situation and seek advice.
You should also know that Georgia Law’s Statute of Limitations states that any personal injury claim resulting from an accident should be filed within two years of the event. Most personal injury lawyers will tell you that in case you’re late. Consequently, your car accident case becomes invalid.
Car Accident Claim
A car accident claim, also known as an auto insurance claim, is a request you send to insurance companies before they’re sued. Insurance claims should cover the damages that happened after the crash occurred, including car repairs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and whatever else the victim lost or incurred.
If the insurance adjusters accept the request, you’ll get compensation for your damages. Yet, if they don’t, they’ll most probably hire a defense attorney to shift the responsibility away from them. If that happens, you have every right to sue them and head to a court trial.
Car Accident Settlement: What Will the Insurance Company Pay You For?
When someone drives a vehicle irresponsibly and causes a crash, they have a legal liability to pay for the victim’s damages, especially if the accidents resulted in an injury. However, if the at-fault driver has an insurance company backing them, the insurance adjuster will settle the claims with you or your attorney.
There are two types of damages that you should get paid for in the case of a personal injury caused by a driver’s negligence. The first type is economic damages, which include lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and loss of earning capacity. The insurance company usually covers those.
The second type is non-economic damages, which mainly consist of intangible losses like pain, suffering, and mental anguish. Unfortunately, non-economic damages are harder to prove than economic ones, and insurance companies often take advantage of that. As a result, you’ll need solid legal advice from your car accident attorney.
This process happens when your attorney sends an insurance claim to the company under the terms of an insurance policy. The claim usually consists of a letter stating the losses, medical expenses, and the repair bills that the driver caused. If the company refuses the insurance coverage and denies you your legal rights, you can head on to file a lawsuit.
What Happens After Filing a Lawsuit?
The first step of the lawsuit is the plaintiff filing a formal complaint to the court. The complaint consists of many paragraphs detailing what happened during the accident and the damages that resulted from it. The defendant will reply to the complaint with either an acceptance or a denial.
Afterward, the discovery process begins. During discovery, you share evidence with the parties involved and the court. For example, damage evidence often consists of the medical records of the injuries and the police report filed for the accident scene.
In addition, you may be asked to provide testimony. Investigation occurs during this process to validate the evidence and ensure that it’s worthy of compensation. After this step, if you still don’t settle, hearings will start. During hearings, the judge will hear defenses from the car accident attorneys and review the evidence to reach a final decision.
To Wrap Up
After a severe car accident, you’ll probably find yourself torn between doctor appointments and mechanic’s visits. As a result, you should get a generous amount of money to cover the extra costs that you went through to compensate you for that pain and suffering. This is in case that the accident isn’t your fault, of course!
To receive your compensation, your lawyer will first send a claim to the at-fault party. Then, if they deny the claim, you’ll have to sue them in court by filing a car accident lawsuit. The catch here is that trials take time and effort more than settlements. But if the other party doesn’t agree on a fair one, it’ll become your only choice.