If you have been involved in a serious motor vehicle accident, you might be thinking about filing a lawsuit against the responsible party. After all, if the accident is not your fault, then you probably feel like you shouldn’t be responsible for medical expenses, property damage, and lost income stemming from the accident. Of course, your bills are coming in quickly, so you would like to have that money sooner rather than later. Therefore, how long should you expect your Georgia auto accident lawsuit to take?
Sadly, there is no standard auto accident settlement timeline for how your lawsuit may unfold. Your case might be resolved relatively quickly, or you might have to wait a long time for your case to be finished. That is why you need to work with a lawyer who has experience in this area. What should you expect to happen if you file an auto accident lawsuit in Georgia?
Call 911 First
Immediately following a motor vehicle accident, you need to call 911. Even if you feel fine after the accident, you still need to dial 911. First, you need to ask for the authorities to come and take a look at the scene. They will be responsible for documenting what happened. This police report will be an official record of what happened at the scene, so you need to make sure the report is accurate. You should also try to get a copy of the police report.
Do not forget to ask for emergency medical personnel as well. You do not know if you have injuries that you might not feel, and you need to be checked out by medical professionals.
See a Doctor
If you do not go to the hospital in an ambulance, you should still schedule an appointment with a doctor. You have a lot of adrenaline going through your system following a motor vehicle accident, and this adrenaline can mask symptoms of serious injuries. That is why you need to ask a doctor to complete a comprehensive physical exam.
Your doctor may also want to take images, such as X-rays and MRIs, to make sure nothing is being missed. After you are finished with your doctor’s appointment(s), remember to ask for a copy of your medical records. If you have been hurt in the accident, you will need this medical record to support your version of what happened.
Reach Out to a Georgia Auto Accident Lawyer
After you have a comprehensive plan in place to address your injuries, you need to reach out to a Georgia auto accident lawyer. Make sure you keep records of all of your expenses, as your Georgia auto accident lawyer may need this to figure out what type of settlement is appropriate following the accident.
There are lots of lawyers available, but you need to find one who specializes in personal injury law and motor vehicle collisions. That way, you have an experienced legal guide who can walk you through the process.
Investigate the Circumstances of the Accident
After hiring a personal injury lawyer, they will investigate the circumstances of the accident on your behalf. There are numerous pieces of evidence that could be used to support your case. These include:
- Your medical records from your doctor, the emergency room visit, and emergency personnel will be responsible for supporting your injury claims.
- The police report will be used to support your claim that the other person is responsible for the accident.
- You might also have information from an adjuster that will be used to support property damage claims.
- Your lawyer might also hire a professional accident reconstruction specialist to recreate what happened at the scene. This could prove important for laying out exactly what happened, and demonstrating who is responsible.
Speak to the Insurance Company and Responsible Party
In some cases, you might be able to resolve your case without needing to file a lawsuit at all. By law, everyone is required to have a minimum level of auto insurance to operate a motor vehicle. Therefore, the other driver should be protected by his or her insurance policy. Your lawyer will be responsible for reaching out to the insurance company to ask for a fair settlement offer. Sometimes, the insurance company might make an offer that will cover all of your expenses.
If the driver does not have enough insurance protection to cover all of your expenses, your lawyer might demand that the other driver cover the rest of your expenses out of pocket. Again, there might be some situations where you can come to an agreement; however, this is not always the case.
File a Lawsuit
If you and the other party cannot come to an agreement, then your auto accident lawyer will file a lawsuit on your behalf. Sometimes, the lawsuit is filed relatively quickly following the accident. In other cases, a lawsuit might not be filed for months. Your lawyer will be responsible for making sure your lawsuit is filed before the statute of limitations runs out.
After filing a lawsuit, your lawyer will file motions to make sure he or she collects all the information related to the accident. This will be important for figuring out how strong your case is.
Negotiate and Resolve the Case or Go To Trial
Just because a lawsuit has been filed doesn’t necessarily mean you will have to set foot in a courtroom. After the lawsuit has been filed, your lawyer will continue to negotiate with the other party. This includes not only the insurance company, but also the driver. Your lawyer will work hard to try to achieve the best offer that is commensurate with the severity of your injuries and property damage.
Sometimes, the lawsuit can be settled before the case goes to trial. If the case cannot be settled, then your lawyer might take your case to trial, presenting all of the evidence before a judge and jury. Then, the judge and jury will decide whether your case is worth a financial award and, if so, how much.
Contact The Law Offices of Shequel Ross, LLC to Speak to an Atlanta Auto Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in a serious motor vehicle accident, reach out to a doctor as soon as possible. Make sure you have a plan in place for your medical recovery. Then, reach out to a Georgia auto accident lawyer who can help you.
At The Law Offices of Shequel Ross, LLC, we will be with you every step of the way, advocating for your rights. Contact us today for a case review!