After a car accident, the last thing on your mind is a lawsuit. Additionally, people don’t always know their rights when it comes to a collision, insurance, and compensation. How do you know whether you need to file a claim or a lawsuit in the first place?
Every accident and claim is unique. However, there are certain factors to consider as you determine whether or not to sue for a car accident. Moreover, you can learn more when you work with an experienced car accident attorney.
When Is It Appropriate To Sue For A Collision?
Filing a lawsuit isn’t always appropriate or necessary after every car accident. In fact, it may only be a realistic option to pursue compensation in specific circumstances.
One of the main factors to keep in mind after an accident is “fault”. Who is at fault for causing the incident? In reality, it’s not always a simple matter. That’s why it’s important to never assume you know who is at fault.
Often, it’s a good idea to consult a personal injury attorney. After you let them know the details of the case, they can give you a better idea of your legal options. In a car accident claim, it’s common for compensation to be available to a victim who sustains an injury or other damages due to the negligence of another party.
While it might seem straightforward, negligence is trickier than you might realize. Additionally, insurance companies conduct their own investigations to determine fault, negligence, and settlement offers. However, their decision is not the only possible outcome of your claim.
Their decision may not include all the evidence available. When this happens, the judge in a car accident lawsuit can determine fault when the parties disagree.
A Lawsuit Is Not Your Only Option
People often hear about auto accident lawsuits. However, you might be surprised to see that many car accident claims never go to trial. In fact, the majority of these cases resolve through negotiations between the insurance company and the victim’s attorney.
Even when there’s a disagreement, a lawsuit is not always the only or ideal option for victims of negligence. In many cases, it’s possible to resolve a settlement through negotiations. However, it takes knowledgeable legal representation.
First, the attorney investigates the incident and works with the victim to calculate an appropriate amount for damages. This involves a thorough review of the evidence and expenses you incur as a result of the accident. Then, they determine whether it’s possible to pursue compensation through the at-fault party’s insurance coverage. Often, the insurer pays out the damages.
However, when the negligent party lacks insurance coverage or does not have sufficient coverage, it’s also possible to seek additional compensation through your insurance policy. Regardless, it’s best to work with an experienced attorney so that they can guide you through the process.
In this process, insurance companies and their adjusters and representatives share a singular goal. They want to deny claims whenever possible and payout as low a settlement as possible in order to close a case quickly.
When Is It Necessary To File A Lawsuit?
While many claims resolve through negotiations, some situations devolve, making it impossible to agree on a fair settlement. When negotiations lapse, your next option is to file a lawsuit.
At this stage, you have to decide whether to file a lawsuit against an insurance company, an individual, or another liable party. Often, this process takes time. It requires preparation, a trial, and ultimately, a verdict. In the verdict, the judge or jury decides whether the victim recovers compensation as well as the amount of the award.
Here are a few common situations in which a lawsuit may be necessary.
- The case involves multiple parties liable for the damages.
- You are the victim of an accident with someone who has no insurance.
- The parties do not agree on who is at fault.
- Negotiations for a fair settlement become impossible.
- Your damages exceed the coverage available in an insurance policy.
How Does An Attorney Help In A Car Accident Lawsuit?
After a car accident, it’s the role of an attorney to gather all available evidence, evaluate the facts of the incident, and determine damages and their impact on your life. Often, attorneys have resources that victims do not, and they leverage these resources to advocate for their client’s best interests. This makes them an invaluable asset to your claim.
Additionally, legal representation often results in a stark difference in the outcome of both negotiations and lawsuits. Without experienced representation, you risk delays, denials, lowball offers, and frustration. Your attorney offers guidance and advice throughout the process to help you recover a more ideal settlement.
The truth of the matter is that insurance adjusters know how vulnerable someone is after a collision. They use that to gain an advantage in your claim. Without representation, victims tend to lose significant amounts in compensation. That’s why it is crucial to partner with a lawyer who understands how to deal with insurance companies.
When you have a knowledgeable attorney on your side, you increase your chances of attaining the results you need to move on with your life.