Tips For Starting A Car Accident Lawsuit
If you were in a car accident and want to get compensation for your auto bills, medical bills or non-economic damage, then your best bet is often a personal injury lawsuit. To help you get a better idea about how the process works, here are some tips to keep in mind:
A Settlement Can Be Your Friend
Although a lawsuit may seem like the ticket, most personal injury cases end with a settlement. Sometimes these settlements occur during lawsuits, but they can also be arranged before a lawsuit is even filed.
There are a wide variety of reasons that the other party might want to settle, such as an unwillingness to undergo a lengthy lawsuit, a desire to pay less money, or just a need to limit the negative attention that a lawsuit can attract.
As far as you are concerned, a settlement is basically a legal agreement that you will not continue your lawsuit, in exchange for a sizable amount of money. This sum is often smaller than the amount that your lawsuit asks for, but it is also a lot more reliable. If you are offered a settlement, then you are guaranteed that money, whereas you could potentially lose your lawsuit and thus get no money at all. You also won't need to pay expensive legal fees if you take a settlement, and you will no longer need to deal with the stress of lawsuits and courts.
Your State Might Be Strange
Depending on the state that you are in, there might be some strange requirements about how car accident lawsuits work in your state. For instance, California has some specific rules about uninsured drivers.
If an an uninsured driver gets in a car crash in California, then they may file a lawsuit, but they may only pursue economic damages, such as medical and car repair bulls. They may not go after non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.
However, this no longer applies if the other party was convicted of being under the influence at the time of the accident. If that is the case, then the uninsured driver may seek non-economic damages in addition to economic damages.
Therefore, you should check your state's laws about personal injury lawsuits before you file your lawsuit. Also, consult an auto accident attorney; they can give you a rundown of all the relevant laws and how they apply to your case.