Basic Legal Phases of Car Accident Claims

Two cars in an accident

Car accidents are, unfortunately, everyday occurrences. The involved insurance companies can handle fender-benders. Accidents involving fatalities and substantial damages are, however, more complicated.

An experienced car accident attorney can help you in getting a fair compensation. Little Oliver Gallagher PLLC reminds us that it is quite difficult to handle your claims on your own with the legal complexities involved. Here are the basic stages of a car accident claim.

Filing Your Accident Compensation Claim

Car accident claims are civil lawsuits. You should first file a petition or complaint with your local court to start your claims process. There are different limitations between states at the time within which you should file your lawsuit. As such, you have to ensure you know your state’s requirements.

The petition should state your allegations and what relief you are seeking. The defendant is the other driver involved in the accident and their insurance company.

Preliminary Motions and Pre-Trial Practice

The defendant might file some motions that might affect your petition. These include a change of judge or venue or a proposal for removal or dismissal. The motion for removal moves your case from a state to federal court. If the court grants a motion for dismissal, then they throw your case out. If not, then a trial date is set.

Mediation and Discovery Stages

The judge may order you and the defendant, together with your attorneys, into mediation. An impartial party moderates the mediation talks. They guide your conversation and helps reach a favorable agreement between both sides. Most cases reach an agreeable settlement in mediation. If it is unsuccessful, however, your case goes into discovery stage.

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In discovery, the facts and evidence of your case are examined and witnesses interviewed. You might reach a favorable compensation agreement after discovery or go to full trial. Car accident claims are complex, and it is hence prudent to hire a good attorney to help you.