What does a car accident lawyer do?
As mentioned above, an experienced auto accident attorney handles personal injury claims on a daily basis and knows how to work with insurance companies to get you the best possible settlement offer. However, you may still be wondering what steps a car accident attorney will take once you retain them as your representation. While every accident has a different set of circumstances, there are common litigation practices and standards that you can expect from the attorney working on your case.
Gathering Evidence: After you retain your attorney, they will begin gathering all the evidence for your case. This includes your statement detailing the accident, your medical records and bills, the police report and witness statements. If the other party to the accident has also retained legal representation, your legal representative will establish communication with their lawyer. Your lawyer can also revisit the scene of the accident and take photos of the scene for evidence. In some cases, your attorney may contact experts who can provide you with additional information about your case.
Send a claim: Once your car accident attorney has gathered all the evidence, he will draft and send a claim letter to the insurance company or the at-fault party’s attorney. A claim is a professional document that outlines the facts of the case as well as the damages. First, your attorney will outline the economic damages you have suffered as a result of the accident. Economic damages refer to current and future health care costs, damage to your property, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. Non-economic damages refer to pain and suffering and mental anguish. Both are important parts of settlement negotiations. The letter will close with the settlement amount your attorney is requesting for you. The insurance company can agree to the settlement, negotiate a lower payment amount or reject the offer.
Filing a lawsuit: If your attorney and the insurance company can’t agree on a settlement, your attorney will begin filing the necessary paperwork to take your case to court.
Discovery: After a lawsuit is filed, both parties enter a period called discovery. During discovery, attorneys for both parties will share any documentation related to the accident that they have gathered to look for evidence that supports their claims.
Court: If your case does not settle during any of the above litigation steps, your attorney will go to court and the amount of your settlement will be determined by a judge or jury. The stages of the court proceedings are the same for each case. First, lawyers will pick a jury if your case is not going to be decided by a judge. Once the jury is seated, each attorney makes an opening statement, followed by witness testimony, cross-examinations, and finally closing arguments. The judge will then give instructions to the jury regarding the applicable laws and how they should reach a verdict. Finally, the jury deliberates and returns with a verdict.
Most car accident cases are settled out of court, but that doesn’t mean you should accept a lower settlement offer than you originally asked for. This is why you want an experienced car accident attorney to represent you.
Negotiation is a special skill that not many people have. Ali Awad is a competent and fair negotiator, but is not afraid to go to court on behalf of his clients to secure maximum compensation for their injuries and losses.