Car accident lawsuits, much like probate, adoption, or any other court process, require you to follow a series of steps. Most of the steps in a car wreck lawsuit aim to avoid going to trial. Trials are expensive and stressful, but they are not inevitable. In other words, it is often possible to get the money you deserve to cover the financial losses you suffered as a result of the car accident where you got injured without going to trial. Whether you settle out of court or go to trial, however, a Louisiana car accident lawyer can help you collect damages for your car wreck with as little hassle as possible.
From Claim to Payday: How to Collect Damages After a Car Accident
Here is how the car accident lawsuit process works, from start to finish.
- Immediately after the accident, have your injuries evaluated at a hospital emergency room or urgent care facility. For some injuries, such as whiplash, the pain may not be irritating you enough for you to want to see a doctor immediately after the accident. However, because the injury may progressively get worse without treatment, it is important for you to go see a doctor when the symptoms first occur. It is important for you to see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident, so that he/she can document your complaints, diagnose your injuries and treat same.
- Report the wreck to your car insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. Many insurance companies have 24-hour claims lines, so if the accident happened at night, you can call the insurance company while you are waiting in the ER waiting room.
- Notify your insurance company of your financial losses in connection to the accident (medical bills, vehicle damage, and lost income from missing work) and request reimbursement. It is best to have a car accident lawyer send a letter with this information.
- If the insurance company does not pay you the money you are owed, you will need to file a lawsuit.
- After a lawsuit is filed, discovery of evidence in the form of depositions and written discovery will occur between the lawyers.
- In each deposition, a witness will answer questions from your lawyer and the defendant’s lawyer. The lawyers nay use the information at trial.
- Often after discovery is completed, mediation is scheduled; the parties and attorneys meet with a neutral attorney who works to get the parties to settle the claims. Sometimes the claims settle at mediation and sometimes they don’t.
- If no settlement is reached, the judge will schedule a trial.
- The parties, with the help of the judge, will select jurors for the trial.
- After the trial, the jury will decide who is at fault or negligent and what caused your injuries and how much the defendant must pay you for your damages (harms and losses).
- If the jury renders a favorable verdict for your injury claims, then the parties will prepare a judgment to be signed by the judge to adopt the jury’s verdict as the judgment of the court.
- After judgement is rendered by the court in accord with the jury’s verdict, either side may appeal the judgment.
- If not appealed, the case will be concluded with a favorable verdict by payment of the judgment amount and the court will order that the case be dismissed upon satisfaction of judgment by payment.
Contact Patrick Yancey About Car Accident Cases
A car accident lawyer can help you at every step of the car accident lawsuit process. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.