Car accidents are, unfortunately, all too common. If you have been in a car accident, you may be wondering what steps you should take next. You may also be wondering if you need to hire a lawyer. A lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal process and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Below, we outline the steps a lawyer will take during the aftermath of a car accident.
The first step a lawyer will take after a client’s car accident is to gather information. This includes speaking to the client to get their account of what happened, speaking to witnesses, and reviewing police reports. The lawyer will also request the client’s medical records. This information will be used to build the case.
When gathering the information, the lawyer will be looking for anything that can be used to prove the other driver was at fault. This may include evidence of speeding, recklessness, or intoxication. This will be used to support the client’s claim for damages.
Analyze the Information
Once the information has been gathered, the lawyer will analyze it. This includes looking for any inconsistencies, identifying any liable parties, and estimating the claim’s value.
This is a critical step in the process as it will determine how the case will proceed. If there are multiple liable parties, the lawyer must decide which one to pursue. The lawyer might recommend filing a personal injury lawsuit if the other driver was clearly at fault. However, if the other driver was only partially at fault, the lawyer may recommend pursuing a settlement out of court.
Investigate the Accident
After the information has been analyzed, the lawyer will investigate the accident. This may include visiting the accident site, reviewing photos or videos of the accident, and speaking to experts. The purpose of the investigation is to gather evidence that can be used to support the client’s claim.
The investigation will also help identify any possible defenses the other driver may use. For example, if the other driver was speeding, they may argue that the speeding was not a factor in the accident. If this is the case, the lawyer must gather evidence to refute this claim.
Develop a Strategy
After investigating the accident, the lawyer will develop a strategy. This will involve deciding which legal avenue to pursue and what evidence will be needed to support the claim. The lawyer will also start to formulate arguments and build a case.
If the lawyer recommends pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, they will start to draft the complaint. This document will be filed with the court and will outline the client’s claim. The strategy will also involve preparing for depositions and trials.
Negotiate With the Insurance Company
If the lawyer recommends pursuing a settlement, they will start negotiations with the insurance company. This will involve sending a demand letter outlining the client’s injuries and damages. The insurance company will then respond with its offer.
The lawyer will then continue negotiating with the insurance company until an agreement is reached. It is important to note that most cases are settled out of court, and very few go to trial. Also, the insurance company will likely not offer its highest settlement amount initially. It is the lawyer’s job to negotiate a fair settlement.
Prepare for Trial
If the case does not settle out of court, it will go to trial. The lawyer will work with the client to prepare for trial. This includes preparing for deposition, selecting a jury, and reviewing trial strategies.
The lawyer will also continue to gather evidence and build the case. This may involve taking depositions, interviewing witnesses, and collecting expert testimony. During trial preparation, the lawyer will also work on settlement negotiations.
Represent the Client at Trial
The lawyer will represent the client in court if the case goes to trial. This includes presenting arguments, questioning witnesses, and introducing evidence. The lawyer will also cross-examine the opposing party’s witnesses.
Here, the lawyer’s goal is to prove the other driver was at fault and that the client is entitled to compensation. If the jury favors the client, the lawyer will negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company.
No matter what steps are taken after a car accident, it is essential to have a lawyer on your side. A lawyer can protect your rights, help you understand the process, and advocate for you. Contact a personal injury lawyer today if you or someone you know has been in a car accident.