A recent study found that 98% of car accidents are caused by human error. If you’ve been in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation based on the damages you suffered. As a result, you may be wondering about the process of a car accident lawsuit.
In order to answer your questions, we’ve found all you need to know about car accident lawsuits. That way, you can take the next steps to get the compensation and justice you deserve.
Read on to learn more about an auto accident lawsuit:
Understanding the Car Accident Claim Process
Car accident lawsuits are complex and often confusing, especially if this is your first. Understanding the steps can help you navigate the process confidently and help you to receive the compensation you deserve. Below is a step-to-step guide to the car accident claim process in Montana:
Call the Police and Gather Evidence
The first thing you should do when you get into an auto accident is call the police. Making a police report will ensure there’s official documentation about the accident, including when, how, and why it happened.
We recommend you stay at the scene and cooperate with the officers. If you don’t, it will reflect badly on you since you’re actively hindering the case.
After you call the police, take photos or videos of the injuries you suffered and the damage that occurred to your vehicle as a result of the accident. In addition to taking photographs, talk to the other party involved and try to get their name, contact information, and insurance details. Gathering evidence at the scene will help aid the accident investigation and help to calculate the damages for a settlement amount.
Seek Medical Attention
If you’ve suffered a car accident injury, even a minor one, seek medical attention as soon as possible. It’s important to get official documentation of your injuries and to show that you’ve followed the proper steps after the accident occurred. Doing so will strengthen your case and prove the impact the accident had on your physical and mental well-being.
Report the Accident to Your Car Insurance Company
After you talk to the police and have sought medical attention, report the accident to your insurance. You should submit any photos or videos of the damages that occurred due to the accident.
Plus, any documentation you’ve received from the police or your doctors. Detailing how the accident occurred and a list of damages will keep your insurance in the know and help with the legality of your case.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
Once you complete the above tasks, the next thing you need to do is find an experienced and knowledgeable car accident lawyer. A lawyer will guide you through the process and help gather additional evidence and witness testimonies that can be used in your favor.
A lawyer will also complete certain tasks that you may not know how to do. For instance, a lawyer can draft a demand letter to the insurance seeking compensation for your damages.
Plus, a lawyer will help you with the settlement negotiation so you can get the best settlement available. Having a lawyer by your side ensures that you receive the best representation possible.
Since the process tends to be lengthy and tedious, it’s likely you’re going to have questions. Below we’ve gathered some common questions regarding the auto accident settlement process:
How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?
The length of a car accident settlement varies greatly because the timeline is based on a couple of factors. They include the complicity of the case, the number of people involved, and the amount of evidence available.
Typically for minor accidents, the process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Although, complex cases can last anywhere from several months to one or more years.
Keep in mind every case is unique, and as such, the circumstances of your case will determine the timeline. If you want a more accurate time period, contact your attorney. They will be able to provide a more accurate timeline based on the factors of your case.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Minor Car Accident?
Since every case is different, there’s no true average payout. It’s important to note that settlements are calculated based on damages.
These damages often include the amount of repairs needed and their cost, your physical injuries, and the financial impacts of those injuries, like medical bills and time taken off work. Depending on the severity of those damages, you may get settlement offers as low as 3,000 or as high as 30,000.
Not to mention, settlement offers are just that they are offers. You can always negotiate to get a bit higher settlement if you feel the offer was too low. Always talk to your attorney as they can gauge what will be a reasonable amount for the damages you suffered.
What If I Settle My Claim and My Injuries Get Worse Later?
If you settle your car accident lawsuit, then discover your injuries are more severe, you may be able to re-open your case. Although, it depends on what the terms of the settlement are and what you agreed to.
Contact an attorney if you want to re-open your case now or in the future. He or she will review the agreement’s language and determine if you should take the steps to re-open your case.
Want to File a Car Accident Lawsuit? Hire a Lawyer Today
A car accident lawsuit can be complex and often lengthy, requiring several documents, photographic evidence, and witness testimony to determine the appropriate settlement amount. Hire a lawyer today to help guide you through the process and provide experienced counsel on the case.
We at Heenan and Cook are dedicated to getting you the justice and compensation you deserve. We’ve worked with numerous car accident cases, earning us a reputation for our quality litigation and excellent settlement negotiations.
If you’ve been in a car accident, contact us today to get a free consultation on your case.