A car accident victim may wonder if they should file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver who caused their injuries. It is not always an easy choice, but understanding the facts can help one decide if filing a lawsuit is worth it.
A plaintiff in a car accident case has the burden of proof, meaning that they must show that the defendant is liable for causing the crash. A qualified lawyer can help with this and can increase the plaintiff’s chances of winning the case. The majority of personal injury claims actually settle out of court, so most plaintiffs do not have to worry about presenting their cases in person. In addition, plaintiffs are successful in 57 percent of motor vehicle accident cases that end up in trial.
The amount in damages that car accident victims can receive is limited by auto insurance companies, but they have less control when lawsuits are filed. A lawyer can fight for the victim to receive compensation.
How Long Does it Take to Resolve a Car Accident Case?
Some claims resolve more quickly than others, but on average, they can take a few months. All of the evidence must be reviewed, and from there, a settlement can often be negotiated with the insurance companies. If the case goes to trial, it will take longer; more complex matters can take years. Most of this work falls into the hands of the lawyers.
Is a Car Accident Lawsuit Expensive?
Many lawyers work on contingency, so upfront fees may not be required. They receive payments after settlements are made, and these average about 33 percent. Although this can seem high at first, a lawyer can get their client approximately 3.5 times more money than a plaintiff who does not have this kind of representation.
How Do Car Accident Lawsuits Proceed?
When consulting with a lawyer, the plaintiff will explain all of the accident details, including the injuries, property damage, and insurance. During this time, the lawyer may provide a representation agreement and will also discuss their fee structure. The next phase is fact-finding and discovery, and there may be depositions, or sworn statements, that need to be provided. Forms will also need to be completed, and documents will need to be gathered.
Most car accident legal claims are resolved through negotiated settlements before they get to court. When this happens, the plaintiff gives up their right to pursue further legal action related to the case in exchange for a payment from the insurance company or defendant. This is why it is important to never immediately sign a settlement document from an insurance company following a car accident since initial offers can be low.
If the case does go to trial, there will be several stages to complete. After a jury is chosen and the trial date arrives, there will be opening statements from both sides, followed by witness testimonies, cross-examinations, and closing arguments. The jury will then deliberate the case, and a verdict will be reached. If the plaintiff wins, the judge or jury might award monetary damages.
Delaware County Personal Injury Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Provide Skilled Legal Representation to Severely Injured Car Accident Victims
A car accident can be traumatic, but a lawyer can help you. If you are thinking about filing a car accident lawsuit, speak to a trusted Delaware County personal injury lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call 610-565-3701. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.