Were you injured in a car wreck? Was the other person at fault?
You may think you have a strong case because the other person was at fault. However, your lawsuit settlement case may go nowhere, especially without legal representation.
In most cases, car accident cases don’t go to trial. Instead, insurance companies will offer a settlement. If negotiations fall through, your case will go to trial.
Overall, you should expect tricks and manipulations from insurance companies and/or defense attorneys. They’ll do everything possible to ensure you don’t get what you deserve.
You can fight back by obtaining evidence and hiring an attorney. Above all, file your lawsuit quickly, as most states give you one or two years to file accordingly.
This article will reveal what you can receive from a car accident lawsuit. Let’s explore.
A car accident lawsuit requires irrefutable evidence. You can collect evidence in the following ways:
- Taking pictures or videos of the accident scene
- Documenting your injuries (i.e. medical records)
- Filing a police report
- Collecting witness statements
To find witnesses, canvass the area where the accident occurred. Perhaps neighbors, business owners, or employees witnessed the accident. Also, ask them if you can record their statement.
Collect their information, as they will be useful witnesses when insurance companies get involved. They will also be useful assets if you must head to trial.
A strong pool of evidence makes it harder for defense attorneys or insurance companies to refute your claims. For example, the defense cannot minimize your injuries if you provide medical documentation.
Additionally, a letter from a doctor attesting to your injuries is strong evidence.
The Insurance Process
Most likely, the offending driver’s insurance company will cover the damages. However, negotiating a settlement is part of the process. Contact an attorney to know if the settlement offer is sufficient.
With that, the amount you’re owed may surpass the driver’s insurance policy.
- Example: You incurred $70,000 in expenses after the car accident. However, the driver’s insurance will only cover $50,000.
Therefore, you must sue the driver to get the remaining $20,000.
Your settlement may include such factors as personal injuries and car damage. You also need a quality settlement if you sustained a long-term injury. The recovery process may require ongoing expenses.
Severe injuries can also force victims out of work. In addition to medical coverage, the courts will factor in lost wages.
- Example: You suffered a back injury during a car accident. In addition to incurring a $5,000 medical bill, you also lost $3,000 in wages. The courts would include both expenses in your settlement.
The average car accident settlement ranges between $14,000 and $20,000. However, the amount can be higher for severe injuries, especially if the injuries are permanent. Your settlement may also include pain and suffering damages.
A pain-and-suffering ruling entails the physical, mental, and emotional ramifications of the injuries. Pain and suffering damages depend on state law.
- Example: If you have an $8,000 medical bill, the court may double the amount when factoring pain and suffering.
You may receive pain-and-suffering damages if the injury has reduced your quality of life. Perhaps you also suffer from anxiety or depression due to the accident.
To prove pain and suffering, document your injuries extensively. If you see a therapist, submit your invoices as evidence.
Plus, record your daily recovery process. Communicate your daily struggles on camera.
Documenting your wounds is helpful, but refrain from posting sensitive details on social media. The defense can use anything you post against you. Instead, convey all sensitive information to your attorney.
Hiring an Attorney
An auto injury lawyer can help you through the settlement process. You stand a better chance of winning a case with the help of an attorney. Representing yourself is a mistake for the following reasons:
- You’re not familiar with court procedure if you must go to court
- The average person cannot articulate their case as clearly as an attorney can
- You may not have the necessary negotiating skills to win a favorable sum
Find an attorney who has experience in auto accident injury cases. Also, search for a lawyer who knows about your situation directly.
If a truck hits you, for example, find a truck accident lawyer. A general practice attorney isn’t enough. More importantly, your attorney should have an impeccable record of winning car accident lawsuits.
The Trial Phase
Civil trials require less evidence than criminal trials. Regardless, you need an attorney who knows how to navigate their way through the courtroom.
Most likely, the attorney will present your case to a jury. You need an attorney who knows how to make an effective presentation to an audience.
Even though you’re the victim, you must still make an effective argument in court. A poor argument can result in a lower settlement, or your case could be dismissed.
To make the best case, submit all the evidence you gathered to your attorney. From there, your attorney will organize the evidence and contact witnesses if necessary.
How Can I Win a Lawsuit Settlement?
To win a lawsuit settlement, collect as much physical evidence as you can. Physical evidence comes in the form of medical bills, accident photos, and witness statements.
Then, hire an attorney. Insurance companies and defense lawyers will use manipulative tactics to discredit your story.
As a result, they can minimize your settlement, or they can prevent you from receiving compensation. To get the full compensation needed, hire an attorney who specializes in auto accident cases.
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