What to Expect From a Car Accident Case
If you have suffered injuries in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you should hire a good lawyer and put your trust in that lawyer.
Establishing a PartnershipYou and your lawyer are partners working towards the same goal - to maximize the settlement or award from your accident. You want to establish trust with each other. If you feel like your lawyer is not trustworthy or experienced enough to handle your case, you are free to look for another one. Make sure to find a lawyer with trial experience in case your lawsuit doesn't settle before trial.
Collecting InformationThe first step in a car accident case is in collecting the information you and your lawyer need to build your case. This includes a police report, the other driver's insurance coverage, statements from witnesses, and finding experts who are familiar with your type of accident. You want your lawyer to be thorough. This will position you well for negotiations with the insurance company.
Depositions & Medical ExaminationsA deposition is sworn testimony by the involved parties regarding the circumstances of the accident. These will start a few months after your lawsuit is filed. Your lawyer will set everything up for you and prepare you for the deposition. The opposing lawyer will ask questions about the accident, injuries, your background, and anything else that is relevant to the case.
The opposing lawyer may also ask for you to be examined by their medical expert who will then prepare a report about your injuries.
NegotiationsDuring this entire process, negotiations about a settlement will occur. It is the goal of the opposing lawyer and insurance company to settle as soon as possible for as little as possible. The legal process can take up to two years after the accident. This is when you will need to trust your lawyer the most to negotiate a fair settlement. If a number is not agreed upon, the case will go to trial.