After an auto accident happens, it may be unclear what you should do next. It’s crucial to undergo medical attention, take photos and video of the crash, and get contact info from witnesses and others involved, but what then? Obviously it’s important to speak with a Daytona Beach or Palm Coast, FL car accident attorney about what happened, yet the stages of the lawsuit process may seem vague.
The lawyers of Chanfrau & Chanfrau would like to give a basic steps of what happens during a car accident lawsuit. This should provide a good overview of what to expect in auto collision cases.
Filing a Claim with Your Insurance Company
After the auto accident, make sure you file a claim with your insurance company. Your insurance company can help cover injuries and vehicle damage while also reaching out to the insurance provider for at-fault party.
If the insurance company of the at-fault party makes an offer to you, do not accept it outright until you’ve spoken with a lawyer.
Initial Meeting with an Attorney
Before any sort of legal process can get underway, the first step is to meet with an attorney. A lawyer can look over the details of your case and determine if you have something worth pursuing and that the insurance company is not taking advantage of you.
If you do not have a case, you’ll save a great deal of time and expense by avoiding a legal battle, and can then accept the insurance company’s offer. If you do have a case that looks worthwhile, it moves forward to the next step.
Going Over Medical Expenses and Losses
As your case moves forward, we’ll go over the cost of your medical treatment as well as the other losses you experienced. The latter could refer to property damage, lost wages, lost future earnings, changes to quality of life, and so forth.
Seeking a Pre-Trial Settlement
Your lawyer will offer the insurance company a demand for settlement, which is based on the hardships endured. Some negotiation may occur with how much is offered and sought. If a fair settlement can be reached, then it’s generally advisable to take the settlement and avoid going to trial.
Filing the Actual Lawsuit
If the settlement is much lower than your injuries and losses were worth, we can move forward by formally filing a lawsuit. We will discuss all the pros and cons of this move and also let you know if it’s a worthwhile decision.
With the lawsuit filed, the discovery phase of the case can begin. This means that legal representatives for both sides get to access various documents and evidence relevant to the collision. This may include medical records, photos of the crash site, police reports, witness testimony, and so forth.
Prior to going to trial, both sides may still attempt to settle matters outside of the courtroom. Mediation is one option, and involves a third-party trying to negotiate a reasonable compromise that both sides can accept. The mediator is the person who acts as a go-between for both sides, keeping the process business-like and professional.
Going to Trial
If the case still cannot be settled, the case goes to trial. Keep in mind that it can be several months to a year to get to court after the injury case is initially filed. Our lawyers will fight diligently for you every step of the way, establishing negligence while seeking damages that are just and fair.
Contact Chanfrau & Chanfrau
If you would like to learn about your legal options following a serious auto collision, be sure to contact our skilled team of injury accident lawyers. You can reach our office in Daytona Beach by calling (866) 610-0653 and our office in Palm Coast by calling (386) 439-7760.