5 Critical Steps in the Car Accident Lawsuit Process
Posted in Car Accidents on October 23, 2014
If you are considering filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for your car accident, it helps to have a basic understanding of the car accident lawsuit process you’ll be going through. Below are some of the steps you and your attorney will be taking when you’re suing someone to recover your losses.
File Your Claim within the Legal Time Limit
First and foremost, you’ll need to file your suit within the legal time limits, known as the statute of limitations. Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases such as car accidents is four years. Some exceptions apply for minors.
This means you have four years from the date of injury to bring your claim. This may seem like a long time, but it’s imperative not to wait until the last minute. Should you miss the deadline, you’ll be barred from compensation for your injuries.
But also keep in mind that if you’re pursuing a personal injury protection (PIP) claim with your own insurance, you must seek initial treatment from a doctor within 14 days.
Gather and Protect Evidence
The next step in the car accident lawsuit process involves gathering and preserving evidence, something you and your attorney can work on together. There are numerous types of evidence that may be helpful in proving your case.
Your attorney can give you a more complete list, but below is a sampling of possible types of evidence you may use.
- Photos of the accident
- Police report
- Video footage
- Testimonies from accident reconstructionists
- Eyewitness reports
- Medical records and doctors’ prognoses
- A pain or injury journal
Continue Medical Treatment
Throughout the car accident lawsuit process, it’s very important to continue with your medical treatment exactly as prescribed by your medical professionals.
If you miss appointments or don’t follow your doctor’s orders, the defense can use your lack of treatment to refute the severity of your injuries.
- Attend all your follow-up appointments
- Stick to your treatment plan
- Document all of your appointments
- Keep a running list of all medications
- Retain receipts from transportation costs (to and from appointments)
- Other treatments
Note, you can most likely use your own health insurance or your PIP coverage to pay for your medical bills while you’re awaiting your case to be finalized.
Build a Strong Case
If you are filing a suit against someone, rest assured the other party’s lawyer will make a few counterclaims. They may try to apportion fault to you or discredit your injuries. You and your attorney will have to build a strong case to demonstrate your side to the court and defend against any accusations made on the other party’s part.
Your attorney will work to arrange the evidence, prepare you for court, and then present your case thoroughly and convincingly. The goal will be to prove to the court the total extent of damages you sustained as a result of the accident, as well as the other party’s fault.
Pursue a Fair Settlement
Victims of negligence-based car accidents are entitled to receive a fair and proportionate amount of financial compensation for their injuries. It’s important that you select an attorney who will pursue the highest settlement to which you are entitled. Granted, negotiations are important and may result in a settlement prior to judgment, but you should absolutely not settle for much less than you deserve.
Florida Car Accident Firm Chalik & Chalik Can Handle the Car Accident Lawsuit Process
If you are in need of an attorney to handle the car accident lawsuit process, consider Chalik & Chalik. Our team is dedicated to helping injury victims recover the fair settlements that they need and deserve. Contact us today at 855-529-0269 for a free consultation to discuss your case.