Imagine driving down the highway, and suddenly, someone hits your car. As a result, you are hurt, the passengers in your vehicle (if any), are injured, and your vehicle is damaged. The other driver is probably also hurt, and so is their car. What would you do?
Road accidents are commonplace. If you haven’t experienced one yet, you probably will – even if it’s just a fender bender. An average driver files a car accident claim about once every 17.9 years, according to the car insurance industry estimates. For that reason alone, knowing how to submit a car accident lawsuit is critical.
If someone has hurt you, or you are just curious to learn about how to file a car accident claim, you will find this article to be useful. But first, let’s make sure we are on the same page about what a car insurance claim does.
After an accident that was someone else’s fault, you want to get compensation for your injuries and property damage. Usually, both parties – in this case, you and the other driver – will negotiate and agree on a settlement amount. However, if the negotiations fail to bore fruit, the next best step may be to start a car accident claim in a civil court. In which case, you’ll need to follow these steps.
File a complaint
A claim starts when you file a petition/complaint with the court. This is a document that features numbered paragraphs explaining the unfolding of events, damages, and the legal basis for filing the suit.
Notify the defendant
The US legal system requires you to serve the complaint on the defendant, so they may be aware of what’s coming and prepare adequately. Note that special rules apply for who may serve the defendant, when they should serve, and how.
Defendant responds to the complaint
Once the complaint is served on the defendant, the next step is for them to respond to it and confirm or deny the allegations pointed out. The defendant’s response will also determine their next course of legal action.
This is a pre-trial process in a lawsuit where each party through a civil procedure law, get evidence from the other party through a range of different discovery devices like depositions, requests for admissions, request for production of documents and interrogatories. Discovery can also be obtained from other parties using subpoenas. The reason behind the discovery is to allow the other party to see every fact so they can prepare their side of the case – collecting evidence and building arguments.
The case goes to trial
If the case makes it to trial, it means that the judge will determine the outcome. He or she will decide which laws apply to your situation and whether the evidence supports that you were the victim in the accident. Note that, in a jury trial, the judge still rules on which laws are applicable, but the jury determines the unfolding of events and whether the stated facts meet the legal requirements governing car accidents. Having an experienced Louisville car wreck attorney by your side is a great way to protect your interest and ensure the best possible outcome for your case.