Categorized | Law, Vehicles

Process for Motor Vehicle Lawsuits

If you have been in a car accident, the first thing you should do is contact your insurance company to make them aware of the incident. The next step should be to call a car accident attorney. An attorney who specializes in motor vehicle accidents will be able to help you decide if your situation merits bringing your case to court via a lawsuit against the other driver. If you are going to attempt to win a judgment in court you need to understand the process and steps involved in a motor vehicle lawsuit.

The first thing you will to determine with your attorney is your insurance coverage and the coverage of the driver who hit you. If the driver who hit you does not have insurance you will need to see your policy’s limits on damage from uninsured motorists. The total amount of coverage available and the state you live in will determine if you are allowed to sue, and for how much. No matter the state you live in it is unlikely that your insurance policy will reimburse you for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, or loss of spousal companionship. If you are looking to be compensated for these losses a lawsuit may be your only option.

A motor vehicle accident lawsuit is filed in civil court. It is what is referred to as a tort, or injury to a person. Your attorney will begin by filling a complaint or petition in the correct court house. It is important that your car accident attorney understands the filling requirements for each jurisdiction. All states have some form of statue of limitations, which mandates that the injured party bring their lawsuit within a period of time. If they wait too long they can be barred from recovering anything at all. This is why it’s important to work with a qualified attorney who has experience in motor vehicle accidents.

After your complaint is filed the defendant and their insurance company will file an answer, admitting or denying fault, and may bring a counter claim against you. The counterclaim will generally assert that the accident was either not the fault of the defendant, or that you the plaintiff contributed to the accident in some way.

Most cases will involve settlement talks. This is an attempt by the parties to reach an agreement that would avoid a trial. A large number of all accident cases do not reach the trail stage, instead the parties are able to come to settlement that is acceptable to both the plaintiff and defendant.

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