A majority of personal injury cases settle out of court. However, litigation might be necessary if the insurance company refuses to offer the compensation you deserve. From start to finish, the entire process can take anywhere from a few months to several years.
The litigation process can be highly complex. It requires experience and specialized knowledge. As such, it is advisable to work with a Ponton Law car accident attorney, who can guide you through the process.
In this article, we’ll walk you through what to expect during a personal injury car accident lawsuit.
Most personal injury cases don’t begin with a lawsuit. When you contact your attorney about a car accident, they will arrange an initial evaluation, during which they will help you determine whether you have a valid personal injury claim. If you do, you might discuss other matters, such as legal fees.
If you and your attorney agree to proceed with the case, you can expect the following stages:
- Accident investigation to prove negligence
- Documentation and calculation of damages
- Consultations with experts such as physicians, engineers, and accident reconstruction experts
- Negotiation with the insurance company
Your attorney will usually attempt to solve your case through negotiations. However, if the insurance company denies your claim or offers an unfair settlement, your attorney will move to litigation.
To begin litigation, your attorney will file a formal lawsuit against the at-fault party, serve them, and begin preparing for trial. Your case will then proceed through the following litigation stages:
During discovery, the two parties share evidence, documents, reports, and other case-related information with each other. You may have to answer an interrogatory, which is a series of questions from the defendant.
This step involves a formal presentation of testimonies. During it, a court reporter will transcribe statements from the witness and experts your attorney consulted for your case. These testimonies are taken under oath.
Mediation could be voluntary or court-mandated. It is a form of alternative dispute resolution where the parties attempt to settle with the help of a neutral mediator. If mediation is unsuccessful, your case goes to trial.
Most cases don’t reach this stage. However, when they do, they have to be heard before a jury, judge, or both. Attorneys from both sides will present their evidence, case facts, and witness testimonies. The jury will then rule in favor of one side.
If you don’t agree with the court’s decision, you may file an appeal to challenge it. This is a formal request that your case be reviewed by a higher court. You can only file it if the court made a legal error in your case.
Talk to an Atlanta, GA Slip and Fall Attorney
Although no two cases are the same, what to expect during a personal injury car accident lawsuit can help you better prepare for the process. You can also discuss any questions or concerns about litigation with your attorney.
At Ponton Law, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of personal injury victims. We apply our experience and resources to help you get the compensation you deserve. If you were injured in a slip and fall, contact us today at 404-860-2454 to talk to an experienced car accident attorney.