The first step in filing a car accident case is to schedule a free case evaluation. This should happen after you have reported the accident and called for medical help. If you receive any medical care during this time, be sure to document everything. These medical records will be important to your car accident case.
If you or a loved one were injured in the accident, you may also want to contact a car accident lawyer who understands how to file a car accident report to ensure any claims you wish to make remain on track to avoid going beyond your state’s statute of limitations.
The Expected Timeline for a Car Accident Case
The next steps will largely depend on how you and your lawyer choose to pursue legal action. Your lawyer may immediately begin building your case to establish fault and determine liability. They will collect the relevant documents and notify the other party of the intent to file.
In some cases, both parties can reach a settlement without going to trial. If both parties cannot come to a settlement agreement, we will file the case and await trial. This will include a discovery process, mediation and negotiation, and then eventually, a trial. It is possible that both parties will come to an agreement before making it to trial.
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What To Expect After Contacting a Car Accident Lawyer
Your car accident lawyer will likely begin by familiarizing themselves with the specifics of your case before getting to work by collecting information that can be used to help determine liability, pursue your claim, and protect your rights.
The following documents can be helpful when determining fault:
- Medical records
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Damage reports
- Insurance adjustor reports
- Expert witness reports
- Image or video of the scene of the accident
Identifying Fault in a Car Accident Case
One of the most essential elements of your case is to identify fault. When determining this, your lawyer will need to establish:
- Duty of care: the at-fault party had a responsibility to drive safely
- Breach of duty: the at-fault party violated their duty by speeding, running a traffic signal, driving while intoxicated, or through other negligent means
- Causation: the at-fault party’s negligence caused the accident
- Damages: you suffered injuries, losses, and expenses as a result of the accident
Many car accidents are the fault of multiple parties. If you live in a comparative negligence state like Arizona or Washington, the degree of fault each party has for the accident is particularly important. If the other party attempts to blame you for the accident, it could reduce the compensation available to you. A personal injury lawyer can help protect you by building a strong case that establishes the other party’s liability.
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Impact of Statutes of Limitations on Car Accident Timelines
Every state has a different statute of limitations governing how much time you have to file a personal injury claim after the date of your accident. This is normally between two and three years. It takes time to collect the necessary evidence and build your case, so it is best to get started right away.
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Discuss Your Case With a Car Accident Lawyer Today
Suffering a car accident can put you in a difficult financial situation. One minute you are driving along and the next, you are dealing with the costs of an injury. Whether you require emergency hospital services or extended time away from work, these costs can quickly add up.
Working with a legal team that is familiar with your state’s local laws can ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Call Zanes Law today at 866-499-8989 to get started with your free case review.
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