Car accidents are the leading cause of death for people who are under the age of 34. It was found that there are over 100 deaths are caused due to auto accidents every day and has hence become a serious menace to the society. In the case of any type of auto accident that has caused damage to property or has injured people, the persons in question are required to fill in legal claims with their respective insurance companies.
Filing this case can however sometimes be a very lengthy process and can involve many steps. First and foremost it is important to check how much the person who caused the accidents insurance can compensate you if that is not enough you have to check with your own insurance provider and find out if they provide you with under-insured motorist coverage that can help you make up for where the other insurance does not help you. If your damages are still not covered even with the under-insured motorist coverage then you have grounds for filing a lawsuit against the person who was responsible for the auto accident.
Some states such as no-fault states can have a cap to the amount of compensation that you can ask for from the other person (defendant). This cap is usually up to $50,000. You should talk to your attorney and they will be the best people to help you with all the rules and regulations that you will need to know before filing a lawsuit.
No matter where you live there are some losses that cannot be covered by insurance. These losses can include pain and suffering, loss of spousal companionship, and emotional distress. In such cases, the best option that you have to recover these losses are by filing a lawsuit against the responsible party.
Filing an Auto Injuries Lawsuit
You will need a specialized lawyer for an auto accident lawsuit. These lawsuits are known as civil lawsuits. Civil lawsuits have similar procedures as that of a normal lawsuit. It starts with the filing of a complaint with your local court. There is a statute of limitations that is the amount of time within which you will have to file the lawsuit this statute of limitations will start from the date of your accident. It is important that you consult your lawyer and find out the amount of time that you have in your state.
After you file a complaint you become the plaintiff and the other driver will be the defendant it is the responsibility of the other driver’s insurance (who may be paying for their defense) or lawyers to respond to your complaint. The defendant can respond to your claim in multiple ways they can either accept or deny the claim. They can also submit counter allegations that can state that you also contributed to the accident and thus are responsible for your own injuries. They can also submit cross claims that can state that there was another defendant that is responsible for the accident.
There are a number of motions that the defendant can make that will have a
huge impact on your case
- Motion to change venue
- Motion for the change of judge
- Motion for removal
- Motion to dismiss
If your case is not dismissed from court then the judge will set a date for the trial. However, these cases are not very high priority and hence the date that is set can be either many months or even years from when the accident happens. The judge can also advise you to go to mediation. In such cases, you and your attorney will meet with the defendant and their attorney in the presence of a third party mediator who will help to bring about an agreement between the two parties.
If the third party mediator was not able to get the two parties to come to an agreement the case goes to the discovery stage. At this stage, the lawyers from both the sides will come forward with their evidence. The lawyers can interview witnesses and also examine documents that are brought forward by both the parties involved in the accident. The defendant’s lawyers use this stage to try and wear the plaintiff down by putting forth a lot of information with the aim of overwhelming the plaintiff.
Resolutions after the Discovery Phase
If your lawyers and you still feel that the evidence is in your favor and you are likely to get compensation from the defendant then you can bring a motion for summary judgement. This motion lets the judgment make a decision without having to see the witnesses or have an evidentiary hearing. After the judge has gone through all the evidence that was produced during the discovery phase and there is no dispute over any of the important details of the case then the judge can help resolve some of the issues that were first brought forth by your complaint.
Day of Trial
Your trial can happen in one of two ways i.e. there can either be a bench trial in which only the judge makes the decision or a jury trial in which the judge determines the laws and rules that are applicable in your case and whether the evidence that was provided was valid but the final decision is made by the jury.
Not all auto accidents make it all the way to the trail phase; they can be solved at any point during this process if the defendant offers the plaintiff a settlement and the plaintiff agrees to it.