What to Expect in a Car Wreck Claim

David Monteleone
Illinois Accident and Wrongful Death Lawyer

  Posted  |  Category : Personal Injury Attorney

Personal Injury AttorneyEach year, vehicle collisions kill or seriously injure millions of Americans. Most of these incidents are not accidents. Instead, most vehicle collisions involve either ordinary negligence of negligence per se.

Ordinary negligence is a lack of reasonable care; negligence per se is violation of a safety statute. Fundamentally, a negligence case is not about blaming anyone for a crash. Instead, these claims help victim/plaintiffs obtain fair compensation for their injuries.

Generally, that compensation includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering. In some extreme cases, a Rockville personal injury lawyer might also be able to obtain additional punitive damages.

Every car crash claim is different, but they all follow the same procedural outline. This same process usually applies in other personal injury claims as well, such as dog bites and medical malpractice actions.

Demand Letter

In a few cases, vehicle collision liability is relatively clear. There is clear evidence of liability, such as a traffic ticket. And, there are no possible defenses, such as comparative fault. Legally, insurance companies have a duty to settle such claims within a few weeks.

So, a demand letter alone might be enough to resolve the claim. Once the insurance company knows the victim has an experienced attorney, its lawyers are usually ready to settle claims.

However, there is almost always at least some question as to liability. To put pressure on both the insurance company and to preserve the victim/plaintiff’s rights, most attorneys file legal claims.

Initial Legal Action

Generally, insurance companies file procedural motions seeking to throw the victim/plaintiff’s lawsuit out of court. They may claim the matter is completely frivolous or lacks evidence on an important point.

These motions almost always fail, provided an attorney has laid the proper groundwork. Most judges only take such matters out of a jury’s hands in extreme cases.

Discovery

During this litigation phase, the parties exchange information about their claims and defenses. Most victims must submit to medical examinations and have their depositions taken. They might also be required to turn over documents, such as medical bills.

Strict rules apply during this process. If insurance companies make unnecessary requests, they face stiff penalties.

Resolution

Once discovery and medical treatment are at least substantially complete, many cases settle during mediation. A third-party mediator, who is usually an unaffiliated Rockville personal injury lawyer, works with both sides to bring about a settlement. Assuming both sides negotiate in good faith, mediation is usually successful.

It’s very important to settle the case in a timely manner. If the resolution comes too soon, the victim/plaintiff might not receive adequate compensation. If that happens, the victim could be left holding the bag financially for unanticipated medical and other expenses.

Contact Aggressive Attorneys

Car crash victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Rockford, contact Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd. We do not charge upfront legal fees in personal injury cases.