Some car accident lawsuits will not end in litigation. Car accident victims will prefer to settle out-of-court rather than going to trial. There are situations where the case must go to court. This is the case where the victim’s insurance carrier and the responsible party fail to reach an agreement on a settlement amount.
Another scenario is one in which the victim sustains severe injuries or the defendant denies liability. To prepare for a successful trial in your car accident case, it is important to understand the steps involved. When you file a personal injury lawsuit, it is best to consult a North Atlanta car wreck lawyer.
What Are The Steps in a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Each car accident case is different and each one is decided on its merits. However, all cases go through the same process. Our auto accident lawyers will discuss the steps involved with a car accident lawsuit.
Hiring an Attorney
To file a car accident lawsuit you must prove that you sustained an injury due to the defendant (fault party). If you can’t prove that the defendant owed a duty to you, breached it, caused your injuries, or you have suffered damages, there is no case. These are the four elements of negligence.
You might not be able to prove all four elements on your own during a trial. You need an attorney to help you. After you have been injured, the best time to involve a lawyer in your case. After you have been injured, your lawyer will assist with negotiations with the adjuster. If they don’t agree, the lawyer will file a lawsuit.
Insurance companies may also prolong negotiations, knowing full well that there is a Statute of Limitations. You might continue to negotiate until the time runs out and then you are barred from filing a suit. A North Atlanta car accident lawyer will know the law and start your case promptly.
Serving the Defendant
After you have hired a lawyer, you can file a complaint against the defendant and serve them with service. Your lawyer will file a personal injuries complaint at either the State Court of Fulton County or the Superior Court of Fulton County. Each court has unlimited jurisdiction to hear civil cases.
Your lawyer will detail the damage you desire and the harm done by the defendant in the complaint. The court clerk will issue a copy to the defendant and serve the summons. The summons informs the defendant when they must appear in court.
The Defendant hires an attorney and files a reply
They could now hire an attorney if the defendant didn’t have one during the failed negotiation process. Their insurance provider may hire an insurance defense attorney if they don’t have one. A defendant who does not have an asset or an insurance policy might choose to be represented by an attorney.
If the defendant is represented by an attorney, they will send the summons and complaint to him. The lawyer will review the complaint and summons, file a response or counterclaim, and then submit it to the court. This applies when the defendant claims different facts and seeks damages.
Pre-Trial and Discovery Of Evidence
At this stage, both the plaintiff and defendant will question each other about evidence and witness testimony. This stage is also known as “discovery“. Both the plaintiff and the defendant will ask each other for evidence and witness testimony at this stage. They will then decide whether mediation or arbitration should be tried.
If either party rejects one of these options, the case will proceed to deposition. Both parties and witnesses will participate in a recorded question and answer session under oath during depositions. Pre-trial proceedings are lengthy and involve mandatory settlement conferences. If all else fails, the parties will determine what evidence they want to present at trial and select a jury. Then, the trial can begin.
Case Goes to Trial
This is the last stage in a car accident lawsuit. The judge and jury will hear both sides’ arguments and examine the evidence. The jury will determine if the defendant was at fault for the accident and award damages to you for your losses. The losing side may appeal the decision, which could take many months or even years.
Contact A North Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Today!
A car accident lawsuit should never be started without the assistance of an attorney. 1Georgia Personal Injury Lawyers has an exceptional auto accident lawyer. Our attorneys have the necessary trial experience and will obtain a favorable judgment. For a free case review, contact us today