Immediately after an auto accident, it’s imperative that you document the crash to the best of your ability. Be sure to take photos of the vehicles involved and any objects or locations relevant to the collision. Exchange information with other motorists as well as witnesses. Wait for law enforcement or first responders to show up if possible so you can discuss what occurred with them and get this in a police report.
But what comes next?
The Daytona Beach and Palm Coast, FL lawyers of Chanfrau & Chanfrau would like to go over the steps in a collision lawsuit. As you’re about to see, there’s more to the process than just contacting a car accident attorney.
Focus on Getting Treatment for Your Injuries
In crashes that result in bodily harm, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible. First responders will be able to treat life-threatening injuries while getting you to an emergency room as soon as possible. Recovering from your injuries and your health are the immediate priorities after a collision.
File a Claim with Your Insurance Company
It’s important to report the accident to your insurance company as soon as you are able to. The insurance company of the at-fault driver or party will likely reach out to you as well. You may be asked to provide a statement to a claims adjuster and be offered a small amount for doing so. It’s usually a good idea to avoid taking the first offer.
Speak with an Auto Accident Lawyer
Given the nature of what you experienced and the risk of long-term medical issues, it’s important to speak with a lawyer about your crash. They can help determine if you have a legal claim worth pursuing and what your best options are at the moment.
A Lawyer’s Investigation Into the Crash
Once you’ve found an attorney for your case, they can begin examining the collision. They’ll go over medical bills and records to understand the extent of your injuries. They can also look over available information related to the crash and what seems to have transpired during before it occurred to help determine liability.
Demanding a Legal Settlement
Based on this preliminary investigation, your attorney can send a demand for a settlement to the insurance company. A settlement will avoid going to trial and help cover your expenses related to the crash and its long-term impacts on your life. A few settlement offers may be negotiated back and forth.
Filing the Actual Lawsuit
If a settlement cannot be reached, the process moves forward and a lawsuit is formally filed. Keep in mind that this does not mean the case will go to trial immediately. Further settlement negotiations can occur as this pre-trial phase of a lawsuit continues.
The discovery phase of a lawsuit allows your attorney to request more documents related to the case and find out more about the other side in the lawsuit. Lawyers can seek depositions with witnesses and law enforcement to find out what happened in the crash, building a strong case.
Before a case goes all the way to trial, mediation may be considered. This involves a neutral third-party who attempts to broker and agreement between you and the other side. This is a final attempt to secure a pre-trial settlement.
Going to Trial
If mediation is unsuccessful, your auto accident case will go to trial. Proceeding all the way to trial is rare given the amount of collision cases each year, but rest assured that our attorneys are here to fight for you every step of the way.
Learn More About the Steps in Auto Accident Litigation
For more information about filing lawsuits and holding negligent motorists accountable, be sure to contact a skilled personal injury attorney. You can reach Chanfrau & Chanfrau by phone in Daytona Beach at (866) 610-0653 and in Palm Coast at (386) 439-7760.