Mississippi Car Accident Lawyer Discusses Understanding the Car Accident Lawsuit Process

Mississippi Car Accident Lawyer Discusses Understanding the Car Accident Lawsuit Process

Chances are, you either drive or ride in a car on a regular basis. No matter how careful we might be behind the wheel, there is always a chance that we could find ourselves involved in an automobile accident. Getting into a car accident can be confusing, disorienting or downright overwhelming. If you find yourself trying to work through the aftermath of a car accident, and wondering where any legal claims might lead, it will help you to become familiar with some of the basic stages of a car accident claim.

The initial collision or accident

In the moments following a car accident, we are often in a state of disbelief. Your first priority should be determining if anyone involved needs medical attention, and ensuring that they receive that attention if it is required. If possible, avoid making statements regarding your own injuries or lack of injuries. It is not uncommon for injuries from a car accident to appear later in the day, or in the following days. In the moments after the shock of the accident we have adrenaline coursing and likely are not in the best position to fairly assess whether we incurred any harm. If you insist that you are fine, this could be documented and brought up at a later time to refute your claim for damages, when in reality, you were not thinking straight when you expressed that you were uninjured.

See a doctor

If you come to realize after the accident that you actually were injured, when you initially thought that you were not, it is important to see a doctor right away. Your doctor will make a record of the injuries that you suffered. If you postpone going to the doctor, your hesitation could be interpreted by others as evidence that your injuries were not too severe.

Use caution speaking with insurance companies

Insurance companies frequently offer settlements early on in claims, but these settlements are often for amounts far below what you could collect if you filed a lawsuit or had an attorney negotiate a settlement for you. Additionally, insurance companies might use things that you say to them against you. You do not have to be too chatty with them.

It is a good idea to speak with a personal injury attorney before agreeing to anything. An attorney will be able to tell you how to handle the insurance company and can give you some idea of what you should be expecting in terms of a settlement. In this way, your attorney might be able to prevent you from making statements or agreeing to things that might hurt your ability to collect compensation.

Filing a lawsuit

If early negotiations are unsuccessful, you may end up having to file a lawsuit. Your attorney will file a complaint for you. After the lawsuit is filed, “discovery” will start. This means that important documents and other information about your claim will be gathered and furnished to both sides and you will likely be asked to give a “deposition,” which is basically a formal interview in which you will be under oath.

More often than not, your claim will end up settling. This means you and your attorney will agree to end your claim for a certain amount of compensation.

Trial

Most claims will never make it to trial, but if yours does, this will involve the presentation of the facts of your case in front of a judge and possibly a jury. The judge or jury will determine whether the defendant is liable and if he or she is liable, then an amount of damages will be determined. Contact the Mississippi Car Accident Lawyer at Barrett Law PLLC today at (800) 707-9577 to learn more about your legal options.

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