How to File a Car Accident Lawsuit
After an unfortunate car accident, you will face another test, i.e., filing a car accident lawsuit. However, even before that, you need to file an auto insurance claim with your insurance provider to get reimbursement of repair costs and/or medical expenses (if incurred).
Once the insurance claim is filed, the next step is to file a car accident lawsuit against one or more drivers involved in the accident. However, in case the accident was the result of faulty car parts or some flaw in the car manufacturing, the car accident lawsuit will be filed against the car or parts manufacturer.
Steps in Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
- The first step is to determine the limitation period as applies in your State in case of car accident lawsuits. All States have their own limitation periods in such cases, but usually, it is two years from the date of accident.
- Once you know that your case is within the limitation period, the next step will be to hire an experienced automotive attorney who can file the lawsuit against the defendant on your behalf.
- After hiring the automotive attorney, pre-litigation stage starts in which the attorney shall assess the damages to be claimed from the defendant and negotiate with him/her with a view to settle the case without entering into lengthy and expensive litigation.
- While still in the pre-litigation stage, it is advisable to collect all medical bills and records, repair bills and records, loss of wages, and all other relevant documentation in support of your claim.
- The pre-litigation stage takes approximately a month after which, your automotive attorney demands settlement with the defendantís insurance company.
- In case the defendantís insurance company decides to settle the claim, there is no need to proceed to litigation stage and the matter rests with the settlement of claim.
- In case the defendantís insurance company refuses to settle the claim, your attorney will issue formal lawsuit to the court.
- Upon filing of personal injury lawsuit, the court fixes a date, usually one year from the date of filing of lawsuit, for commencement of trial.
Important Facts About Car Accident Claims
- The damages claimed should include both damage to the vehicle and your bodily health.
- You should never admit a fault in the court without consulting your attorney, as this could weaken your claim for damages.
- You must write down all the important facts related to the accident and inform each and every detail to your attorney.
- If possible, contact an automotive attorney right away or the same day of the accident. This will provide an attorney a first-hand experience of the accident spot and many other relevant factors that may influence your claims case.
- In case the defendantís insurance company contacts you, at best, you can share the details regarding the damages you claimed. Always remember, do not admit fault to anyone without prior consultation with your attorney.