Yes, you can sue for your injuries after a car crash. However, you should have an attorney review your case before even discussing settlement with anyone. You may not need to sue and a lawyer may be able to get the compensation you deserve without resorting to a lawsuit. For those injured in car crashes, it may be comforting to know that a car accident lawyer is handling their case. If a lawsuit proves necessary, your lawyer may file it efficiently—civil lawsuits are a territory that your lawyer should be very familiar with.
Most Car Crash Cases End with a SettlementMost civil cases end with a settlement. Whether you are seeking compensation from an insurance company or the parties who caused your collision, it may be in your best interests to settle your case. People injured in car crashes may seek a settlement because:
- If a settlement is fair, it is the easiest and most efficient way to get compensation for your losses;
- While sometimes necessary, going to trial involves risk as one side wins and another loses;
- Trials are expensive and time-consuming;
- You may have pressing financial losses that you need compensation for and a settlement may be more efficient and safer option than going to trial.
How Do I Know Whether to Settle, Sue, or Take Some Other Action After a Car Accident?You may not know. This is another reason to consider hiring an attorney. Your lawyer can help you chart the right course of action for you. Each person injured in a car crash faces unique circumstances. Your injuries may be more or less severe than others’. A lawyer can provide a professional assessment of your crash, your injuries and your losses. Your lawyer should:
- Review all applicable insurance policies - Insurance is a key variable in most car crash cases. Auto insurance is mandatory in most states and can cover damage to your vehicle, medical expenses, and other losses. Your attorney can assess the state of insurance in your case and determine which of your losses insurance should cover.
- Deal with the insurance companies - Insurance companies may do what they can not to pay for your losses. Insurers have financial reasons not to pay claimants fairly. Your lawyer will contact insurers about your claims. Your lawyer may find that insurers are willing to pay you fairly—or not.
- Gather evidence related to your car crash - Video footage of your collision, the police report documenting your crash, witness accounts, and photographs of your vehicle damage and injuries may all be worthwhile evidence.
- Determine the cost of your losses - Your attorney should calculate the total monetary cost of your covered losses. The severity of your pain and suffering is one factor your lawyer will consider when advising you whether or not to sue as insurance companies regularly underestimate intangible losses.
- Negotiate with insurance companies - If insurers resist paying you fairly, your attorney may engage in formal negotiations. Your lawyer will get the insurance company’s best offer. Once you evaluate this offer, you may decide whether to proceed with a lawsuit.
- Handle any necessary lawsuit - If you choose to sue, your lawyer will handle this process. From filing the lawsuit to re-opening settlement negotiations and possibly proceeding to trial, your lawyer will spearhead the legal process.
What Is the Goal of a Lawsuit?Your attorney’s goal, whether they’re negotiating with the insurance company or arguing your case in court, is getting compensation for your losses. These losses will generally include:
- Medical expenses;
- Property damage expenses, including but not limited to vehicular damage;
- Professional losses, including but not limited to lost income;
- Human losses such as pain, anxiety, frustration, etc.