Lawsuit Info Center / Personal Injury Lawsuits

Personal Injury Lawsuits

Car Accident Lawsuit Settlements - Lawsuit Info Center

Every year, millions of people are injured in auto accidents, and hundreds of thousands more file car accident lawsuits to recoup damages for their injuries and property damage. Generally speaking, to win a personal injury case is usually reliant on being able to prove two things – Damages (including loss of income and emotional damages), and liability/negligence.

Do not settle with the insurance companies without speaking with a licensed personal injury attorney in your state. Insurance companies are trained to pay out as little as possible, and it’s always in your best interest to know your options. Every lawyer in our network offers a free initial consultation so it costs you nothing to discuss your options and know where you stand, and whether or not filing a lawsuit for your injuries is worthwhile.

How An Attorney Can Help You Maximize Your Car Accident Lawsuits & Settlements:

Working with experienced lawyer for car accident, can help ensure that insurance companies, who are trained and compensated to pay you as little as possible, don’t rush or bully you into taking a low car accident settlement offer. A good personal injury attorney can help get you more money in your car accident lawsuits by maximizing your claim in regards to loss of income, medical bills & ongoing treatment, and pain & suffering.

Most car accident lawsuits are handled on a contingency basis, meaning that you don’t pay any money up front, and nothing for any case fees or experts associated with your settlement. Most car accident attorneys will ask you for fee only when your case is won, and that fee is generally a percentage of your settlement, so they are incentivized to get you the biggest payout possible. Most states have a statute of limitations in which you can file a car accident claim after it happens, meaning time is limited to pursue damages. While this varies state to state, usually the statute of limitations is 1-3 years for personal injury claims.

In general, to win any possible cases of injury, you should be able to prove mainly; about the damages caused and any possible loss of income or emotional damages. Since most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, it’s usually a good idea to speak to one and see if they can offer you any car accident settlement help.

What are the possible circumstances & injuries where a car accident attorney can help?

  • Head on collisions
  • Rear Ended Accidents
  • T-Boned/Side Swipe Accidents
  • Multi Vehicle Accidents
  • Passengers Injured In A Car Accident
  • Pedestrians Injured By Motor Vehicles
  • Head Trauma
  • Whiplash
  • Neck Injuries
  • Knee & Hip Injuries
  • Chest & Rib Injuries
  • Back & Spinal Injuries

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can you sue if you are in a car accident?

While the answer to this question is almost always yes (technically, you can sue just about anyone for just about anything), the better question is probably SHOULD you sue if you are in a car accident.

The process of filing a car accident lawsuit can be a long one, so whether or not you should sue is one that should be considered. Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering whether to sue after a car accident or not:

  1. Were you injured, did you miss work, and was the damage to your vehicle substantial?
  2. Is the insurance company offering a settlement already? If so, is it adequate to cover the damages above?
  3. Were you at fault or partially at fault for the auto accident?

The first two questions pertain to the thought process you probably want to go through if you were injured in a car accident and not at fault. If there were substantial damages, injuries, and/or lost income, and the insurance company is not offering a settlement or offering something very low, you should probably consider filing a car accident lawsuit. If the settlement offer is enough to fairly compensate your damages, you will need to decide whether it’s worth the time, effort, and expenses (while most car accident attorneys don’t charge any money up front or out of pocket, they are compensated as a percentage of the settlement, usually 33%, which can be a lot of money). If you can avoid the time and hassle of filing a lawsuit, and still get fairly compensated for your car accident injuries, you may be better off settling.

If you’re found at fault, generally you won’t win a lawsuit in court. However there are many instances where partial fault is attributed to both parties, and those are often sorted out in a car accident lawsuit.

In any event, you should probably discuss your options with an experienced car accident lawyer in your state and decide the best course of action.

How long does it take to settle a lawsuit from a car accident?

How long it will take to get a settlement and a check depends upon three major factors:

  • Treatment must be completed, or maximum medical improvement must occur. After a car accident with serious injuries, it could take weeks or months for you to complete your treatments, or to attain maximum medical improvement. It is important to wait until one of these occur; you do not want to take a quick settlement immediately after the accident, only to discover that your ‘minor neck pain’ turns out to be a ruptured disc that take a year to fully heal.
  • All medical bills and records must be obtained. To get the case settled faster, it is critical to have all your medical records and bills delivered to your attorney ASAP. Settlement before a lawsuit is almost always based solely on what is in your medical records and medical bills. How those records reflect on the nature and state of your injuries are the most variable part that insurance companies will use to determine what the value of the claim is.
  • Waiting for a response from demand letter. After your attorney sends a settlement demand with all relevant records and bills to settle the claim, the insurance company needs time to evaluate it. Most claims should not take more than three weeks, but it can. Your attorney will need to follow up with the insurer to keep your case at the head of the line. According to some attorneys, it is common for the insurance company to have a settlement offer within 60 days.

Bear in mind that some insurance companies will start to drag their feet once the settlement has been resolved. Good attorneys stay on top of the company to make sure you get that settlement check as soon as possible.

How long does the car accident lawsuit process take?

Many car accident victims do not realize that most claims end in settlement, not at trial. Most insurance claims for accidents are resolved via settlement even before a lawsuit is filed. Lawsuits take time, which most plaintiffs do not want as they have medical bills to pay. Many insurance companies do not want to go to trial either as litigation is expensive. Also, juries are notoriously unfriendly to insurance companies, and the verdict could cost the insurer more money than a settlement.

However, if the insurance company does not respond to your demand letter in a timely way, you may need to file suit. The legal complaint on the other driver can take up to three weeks for him to respond.

Next is the discovery process. Each side of the case will request documents and information from the other side. Depositions may also be taken. This process can take weeks to months.

The trial is the last part of the process. It is possible for some car accident lawsuit trials to take place many months after the accident. The trial itself could take weeks to conclude.

This lengthy legal process is why most car accident cases settle. A lawsuit is very expensive and time-consuming for both sides.

When should I settle my car accident claim?

When you are in a car accident where the other driver was to blame, you probably filed a claim with the other person’s insurance company. But settlement negotiations are stalled. You cannot seem to get the claim settled for what your attorney thinks it is worth. Should you settle or sue?

There is one major reason to file a lawsuit after a car accident: Money. Plaintiffs do not file lawsuits unless necessary most of the time. If you and your attorney do not think the insurance company will make a fair settlement offer, then it is time to consider a lawsuit.

How far apart the plaintiff and defense should be before filing suit will depend. Lawsuits are usually filed in car accident cases where there is strong disagreement on your pain and suffering. There is no exact calculation possible for your pain and suffering; there are only educated guesses. Sometimes the plaintiff and defense will come to very different conclusions about what your pain and suffering is worth.

For example, say you and your attorney value your claim at $40,000 to $60,000. The insurance company offers $50,000. Most attorneys would advise you to settle immediately; it is not worth filing suit over only $10,000. An offer of $38,000 would probably be one to take the settlement as well. But if the insurance company low balls you with a $20,000 offer, a lawsuit is probably in order.

Can they sue me for a car accident?

Yes, you can be sued in most states if you caused a car accident with injury. Even in no fault states, you can be sued in some accidents where the damages are beyond a certain level. Being served with lawsuit documents after a car accident is stressful, but keeping calm is important to make the best decisions.

It is common to be sued months or even years after a car accident. The first thing to do is to call your insurance company and tell them you are being sued. They should already be familiar with the accident. Next, call your attorney. Next, you will need to deny or accept what is alleged.

The case at this point could go to trial, with discovery being next. But after discovery is complete, both sides will try to reach a settlement. The worst case is the case will go to trial, and you could be responsible for any judgment beyond coverage limits, but this outcome is unlikely.

How much can someone sue for a car accident?

The amount you can sue for in a car accident depends upon the severity of the accident and the damages involved. You should talk to an attorney in your area to get an idea what you case could be worth. But below are some rough guidelines for common car accident cases. Your case could involve figures much more or much less:

  • Minor injuries with minor soft tissue or whiplash injuries can have settlements for $10,000 to $25,000.
  • For more serious orthopedic injuries that need PT, surgery and after care, settlements can be $50,000 to $75,000.
  • Spinal injuries that do not cause paralysis can be from $75,000 to $100,000.
  • Injuries with paralysis will be in the high six figures or into the millions.
  • Brain injuries with cognitive impairment can have settlements in the $100,000 to $250,000 range.
  • A catastrophic brain injury case can involve a settlement in the millions of dollars.
  • If the car accident victim died in the accident or afterwards, a wrongful death lawsuit usually will be filed for anywhere from $1 million and up.

If you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us at 877-205-4877 for your free, no obligation legal consultation. There is no charge and no obligation to hire an attorney.

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