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How Can I File an Auto Accident Lawsuit?

How Can I File an Auto Accident Lawsuit?

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How Can I File an Auto Accident Lawsuit?

A severe car accident injury can disrupt your entire life and impact your finances, career, and home life negatively. Most auto accident victims simply want to receive a fair settlement to rebuild their lives and pay their bills after suffering an injury in a crash. However, if the other driver or their insurer refuses to pay up, you might be wondering how to file an auto accident lawsuit. 

Morgan & Morgan’s experienced auto accident attorneys could handle every aspect of your case and leave no stone unturned in fighting for a fair settlement on your behalf. We never settle for less and fight hard for what our clients deserve. Get America’s largest personal injury firm on your side and contact us for a free consultation today.

Insurance Claim or Auto Accident Lawsuit?

After an auto collision, victims may not know what to do for the best, especially when they have never experienced an accident with injury before. Generally, if you suffered a significant injury and high monetary losses, you would first recover damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance. An insurance company should then offer you an adequate settlement. 

However, recovering adequate damages without a fight is rarely possible in practice. In an attempt to preserve their profits, insurance companies frequently make lowball settlement offers, leaving victims with no choice but to file a lawsuit and fight tooth and nail for the settlement they deserve.

We believe that this is outrageous and wrong. If your case is worth much more than any settlement offers from the insurance company, and the insurer is not budging in negotiations, you should get in touch with us. Our tenacious auto accident attorneys could help you file a lawsuit and pursue full and fair compensation. 

Do You Have an Auto Accident Case?

Not every car crash automatically qualifies for a personal injury lawsuit. To have a case, the victim must prove that the other party acted negligently or willfully, causing the accident and the victim’s injuries. Drivers of motor vehicles are generally required to operate their vehicles with reasonable care without endangering other road users. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that risky driving behaviors include: 

  • Driving drunk
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding 
  • Driving fatigued

If you were involved in an accident with a drunk, speeding, or generally reckless driver, they or their insurance company could be responsible for your injuries and financial losses. 

If someone else caused your accident and injuries, you should not have to shoulder the financial burden alone. We understand what you are going through and have helped many car accident victims pursue the compensation they needed to rebuild their lives after suffering a devastating injury. Our determined auto accident lawyers can assess your case and determine whether you qualify for a lawsuit. 

You Could Qualify for Compensation 

If you suffered harm in an auto accident and another caused the crash, you could receive compensation, including but not limited to: 

Income Loss

Car accident victims suffering severe injuries are unlikely to return to work immediately after an accident and may face a lengthy recovery period. Therefore, you could be entitled to any lost wages and lost future income due to your accident injuries. If you suffered disabling injuries which make it impossible to work again, you should receive appropriate compensation. 

Medical Treatment Costs

Car crash victims could be entitled to reimbursement of all medical costs connected to their accident injuries, such as:

  • Medications
  • Surgeries 
  • Hospital stays
  • Rehabilitation therapies
  • Medical transportation
  • Diagnostic tests
  • A home health aide
  • Medical accessories and devices
  • Specialist appointments

Non-Economic Damages

Witnessing a traumatizing accident and suffering severe injuries can lead to ongoing physical pain, emotional distress, and other devastating consequences for a victim. Non-economic damages could make up a large proportion of an injured victim’s settlement. Individuals could qualify for the following awards and others:

  • Disability 
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional anguish
  • Loss of a limb 
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Loss of life quality
  • Inconvenience

How to File an Auto Accident Lawsuit

If you suffered an injury in a collision and cannot recover compensation from the responsible party’s insurer, a lawsuit may be the only way to recover what you deserve. In most cases, you should contact a lawyer who can protect your rights and handle the lawsuit for you. Generally, the steps of filing a car accident lawsuit include: 

1. Filing the Complaint

The complaint is the first step in filing a lawsuit. With the complaint, the person bringing the lawsuit (plaintiff) sues the person or entity they deem responsible for the damages (defendant). The complaint is a document explaining what happened in the accident, the remedy requested for damages, and other details. The document is filed in court.

2. Serving the Complaint 

The second step of a personal injury lawsuit is formally serving a summons and the complaint on the defendant. The documents inform the defendant that they are being sued.

3. Answer to the Complaint

The defendant is now required to answer the complaint, typically within 21 days of receiving the documents. The answer will state the defendant’s side of the case. The defendant may admit, deny, or partially admit the allegations. They could also file a motion to dismiss the case.  

4. The Discovery Period

Discovery is a pre-trial process of fact-finding and information-exchanging between the two sides. Each party uses discovery to investigate the facts and circumstances of a case. Activities during discovery can include, among others:

  • Obtaining evidence from the other party
  • Requesting documents
  • Depositions (interviewing the parties, witnesses, and expert witnesses)
  • Interrogatories (written questions)

5. Trial

In most personal injury cases, the parties agree to an out-of-court settlement before a trial. However, if they cannot reach an agreement, the auto accident case will proceed to trial. After both sides have presented their evidence and arguments, the jury will reach a verdict either in favor of the plaintiff or the defendant. If the jury decides in for the plaintiff, the defendant will generally have to pay damages.

Proving Negligence in an Auto Accident

If you want to recover compensation in an auto accident lawsuit, proving the other driver’s negligence is critical. The four elements of proving a personal injury case include: 

  1. The other driver owed you a duty of care
  2. They breached the duty of care (by driving recklessly, speeding, etc.)
  3. The breach of duty caused the auto accident 
  4. You have tangible damages such as medical expenses, income loss, or others. 

Our auto accident lawyers can gather the relevant evidence required to prove another’s negligence. 

Finding an Auto Accident Lawyer Near You

If you are unsure how to file an auto accident lawsuit, consider working with a lawyer who can walk you through the legal process. While any personal injury attorney could help, you should hire an attorney specializing in car accident cases. An excellent way to find a great attorney near you is by asking friends and family for help. 

Arrange Free Consultations

Most auto accident lawyers offer free first consultations. A consultation allows you to meet an attorney and ask any questions on your mind. 

Morgan & Morgan Is Here for You

Our auto accident attorneys know how to get the results victims need to rebuild their lives after suffering an injury in a crash. We have an army of qualified attorneys ready to fight all the way for you. We don’t let insurance companies get away with shortchanging our clients.

When to File an Auto Accident Lawsuit 

Do not wait too long if you intend to hold another driver to account for your injuries and financial losses. While you may have four years or longer to file an auto accident case in some states, others require you to file within one short year. Filing your lawsuit too late can have devastating consequences and potentially prevent you from receiving any compensation. An experienced car accident lawyer at Morgan & Morgan can advise you and determine the right timing for your auto accident lawsuit.

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FAQ

Morgan & Morgan

  • What Should I Do After an Auto Accident?

    Your best next steps after a car accident include:

    • Call 911 if you or someone else is injured
    • Collect contact information and insurance details from the other involved drivers
    • Gather contact details of any eyewitnesses
    • Take photographs of the accident scene and the vehicles involved

    It is just as important to know what not to do after a car accident. Do not drive away from the crash. Leaving the scene of a car accident is generally a criminal offense. Do not apologize or admit fault to other drivers, as this could later be used against you. 

  • Should I See a Doctor Even if I Feel Fine After a Crash?

    It is common to feel perfectly fine in the immediate aftermath of a car accident only to notice symptoms days, weeks, or even months afterwards. According to the Mayo Clinic, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), common in car accidents, may not present with symptoms for weeks. A medical professional can diagnose undetected injuries and alert you to symptoms of injuries that could arise in the weeks after an accident. 

    If you do not see a doctor soon after an accident and develop an injury, you could lose your right to recover damages for your medical expenses. Do not consider settling an auto accident claim before a doctor examines you thoroughly and makes you aware of the full scope of your injuries and any expected medical costs. You could be leaving money on the table that you later need to pay your healthcare bills.

  • What if the At-Fault Driver Was Uninsured?

    Unfortunately, car accidents with uninsured drivers happen all too often. However, if your car insurance policy includes Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage, you can file a claim with your own insurance company and receive a settlement. Another option could be holding the driver liable and suing them for damages. 

    If you were involved in an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver, consider speaking to a car accident attorney to determine your options. 

  • Should I Hire an Auto Accident Lawyer?

    In most car accidents, except minor collisions without injuries, hiring an attorney to protect your rights makes sense. This holds particularly true if an insurance company is dragging its heels and refusing an adequate settlement. A free consultation allows you to learn about your rights without committing to hiring a lawyer.  

    There are some instances when going it alone can be a terrible mistake. For example, if you suffered significant injuries and expenses or fault for the accident is contested, hiring a lawyer can be critical for getting what you need and deserve. Our experienced car accident attorneys or legal team members can assess your case and determine whether you should hire an attorney to fight for your due.  

  • Can I File a Lawsuit if I Am Partly to Blame for the Accident?

    Many auto accidents are not clear cut, and parties may share fault. However, while complicating your case, being partially at fault does not necessarily prevent you from seeking compensation. However, the amount you can recover will typically be reduced by your percentage of fault. 

    That said, the laws regarding this issue differ from one state to another. Therefore, it is crucial to speak to an attorney who understands your state laws and can advise you about your options.

  • Morgan & Morgan Fights for Auto Accident Victims 

    Victims of car accidents have been turning to us for decades when they are unable to get justice and compensation on their own. We have the tenacity and resources to stand up to powerful insurance companies that deny victims their rightful compensation and, to date, recovered more than $10 billion in damages. 

    You do not have to struggle with learning how to file an auto accident lawsuit on your own. Morgan & Morgan has your back. If an insurance company treats you unfairly and you cannot recover the settlement you deserve, our motivated and compassionate attorneys can fight tirelessly for your rights. We won’t charge you a dime unless and until we win. Contact us now to determine your options and next best next steps in a free case review. 

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Unbelievably organized, responsive and probably the most effective process-oriented group of people I've ever seen. Their preparation for mediation and trial is beyond comprehensive. Across two cases and 3 years, not once did anything fall between the cracks. Everyone I came into contact with exemplifies professionalism; they quickly resolved insurance issues and spent time educating me about everything affecting my cases.
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It has been an amazing experience with your law firm. I will be happy to refer any of my family and friends to your law firm. I am very thankful to Sabrina Thornburg and Andrew Felix for everything that they have done on my case. Sabrina kept in touch with me to let me know how everything was going and I am very happy with the service that she and Andrew provided. Your slogan really is true, you are for the people. Thank you.
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I was very happy with the communication between the legal counsel and myself. If I had any questions I could leave it if not directly and I would have an answer within 24 hours by either email or a courtesy phone call. Also, the quick resolution of the matter was something I appreciate very much. Needless to say the result was more than expected.
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I originally hired a different law firm after being involved in a multi-car accident on the interstate, but after a few conversations, arguments, and showing me other cases were more important than mine, I called and hired Morgan & Morgan! That was one of the best decisions I've made as an adult! Not only have they been in contact with me, but they listened and found mistakes in the crash report that the officer didn't want to admit to! I'm beyond thankful!
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