We live our lives hoping that nothing bad could ever happen to us, but unfortunately, life has its way of surprising us when we least expect it. Things go wrong and accidents happen, and one of the worst a person could go through is suffering a car crash. Even if you haven’t sustained physical injuries, it can be quite the traumatizing experience. And if you think you are eligible for compensation, then your next course of action is going to be filing a lawsuit to get it. Those aren’t exactly a walk in the park, but just how complicated can it be to win one?
To understand that, you need to learn a few things first. What should you do after an accident?
After the accident happens, and after getting necessary medical treatment on site, you need to start documenting everything. This is the first step to make winning the case a bit easier for you. Take photos of both cars, any injuries you might’ve sustained, and any other relevant details. You then need to start collecting the other driver’s insurance information, contact details, license plate, and witnesses’ information because you might need their testimony. A police officer will arrive on site, and they will prepare a preliminary report, and you should get your hands a copy of that report because it might also factor in proving fault.
Don’t discuss the case
Whether or not you think you were at fault, never apologize. Don’t discuss the details of the incident with anyone on the site, especially the other driver. You should only communicate with paramedics, police officers, and most importantly, your lawyer, which brings us to the next point.
Get an experienced attorney
This is perhaps the most important part of this entire process. You cannot just get any regular lawyer to handle this case for you, because car accident cases require expertise in dealing with insurance companies. There are legal considerations when you’re in a vehicle crash, you have to remember that, and only an experienced attorney can help you navigate your way through a case like that. They will also start gathering relevant information and begin an investigation to determine fault with insurance companies. They will gather medical and police reports, statements from witnesses, and any other relevant information to help you win the case.
Handling the settlement
Assuming the other party was completely at fault, then the insurance company will offer you a financial settlement, and things get a bit tricky here. In most cases, that settlement will not be fair, and it might not even cover your medical expenses. This again shows the importance of having an experienced car accident attorney handling your case, because they would advise you whether or not that settlement is the best you could do, and more importantly if it would be the sound choice taking this to court. Their insight when it comes to the financial settlement is crucial because most people suffering from accidents feel like their case deserves more money, but that is not always the case.
How fault is proven
Taking one step backwards, before getting into settlements, insurance companies try to determine fault, which is basically to say who was responsible for that accident happening. Any relevant details are used here for witness and police reports to both drivers’ retelling of the story. This is definitely the most complicated part of a car accident case, and having a good car accident lawyer to present your case is also crucial here. Each insurance company will try to prove the other party was negligent so they could minimize or even avoid any financial payments, so you need to be really careful with this step, and remember not to share your recollection of the events except with your lawyer.
How are compensations determined?
A lot of different factors are taken into consideration here, but there are certain damages that you should be liable to get if you won the case. Your medical bills for starters should be covered, as well as damage to property, loss of wages due to injury, and emotional suffering. Some of these are subjective like damages for emotional distress and pain/suffering, while others are more specific like the bills you paid to fix your car or for your stay at the hospital.
Back to the question, how complicated is it to win a car accident case? The answer will vary according to several factors. Was the other part completely at fault? That’s a good place to start, because otherwise, things might not go as smoothly. The experience and competence of the lawyer will also be the biggest deciding factor in how this case will pan out, and whether or not you stand a chance.