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Lawsuits & Litigation

Understanding the Role of a Lawsuit in Your Car Accident Case

— June 21, 2024

By understanding the process and seeking knowledgeable guidance, you can confidently navigate your path to recovery.

Every year, millions of car accidents occur, and a significant number of these result in lawsuits as victims seek fair compensation. In 2023, Los Angeles experienced its deadliest year on the roads in at least a decade, with 337 traffic fatalities reported.

This marks a 7.3% increase from 2022 and the highest number of fatalities in over 20 years. While not all car accident cases end up in court, understanding the potential role of a lawsuit is crucial for anyone seeking fair compensation after an accident.

In this article, we’ll cover every detail of when a lawsuit becomes necessary, its process, and more.

The Initial Steps: Insurance Claims and Negotiations

After the dust settles from an accident, the first step is usually filing a claim with your insurance company. This involves providing details about the accident, any injuries, and any damage to your car. Seems straightforward, right? Well, it can be more complicated.

Insurance companies, even your own, are businesses at the end of the day. They’re looking to resolve claims quickly and often try to settle for the lowest amount possible. Sometimes, they might even deny your claim altogether. This could happen if they think you’re at fault or if they disagree with the cost of your medical bills or car repairs. Sadly, this is a frustrating situation, and it’s more common than you might think.

When Does a Lawsuit Become Necessary?

While most car accident claims are settled through insurance negotiations, there are situations where legal action becomes essential:

  • Unfair Settlement Offers: If the insurance company offers a settlement that doesn’t adequately cover your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering, a lawsuit can help you pursue fair compensation.
  • Disputed Liability: If the insurance company denies your claim or disputes your degree of fault, a lawsuit can help establish liability and ensure you’re not unfairly burdened with the costs.
  • Bad Faith Practices: If the insurance company engages in bad faith tactics like delaying your claim, denying it without a valid reason, or refusing to negotiate reasonably, legal action can hold them accountable.
  • Severe Injuries: In cases involving severe injuries with long-term consequences, a lawsuit can help you seek compensation for ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation, and loss of earning capacity.

Determining whether pursuing a lawsuit is the right path for your specific situation requires careful consideration and expert advice. This is where consulting with a Los angeles car accident lawyer becomes crucial. If a lawsuit is the best course of action, your Los Angeles lawyer will guide you. They will also handle all aspects, from filing the necessary paperwork to representing you in court if needed.

The Lawsuit Process: A Simplified Overview

A lawsuit might be the next step if other options haven’t worked out. Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds. First, your lawyer will file a formal complaint. This is a legal document that names the person you’re suing and explains why you think they’re responsible for your injuries.

Lawyer opening a case file; image by avogadoaguilar, via
Lawyer opening a case file; image by avogadoaguilar, via

Then comes the discovery phase. This is when both sides gather evidence to build their case. This might involve asking questions in writing, taking sworn statements (called depositions), and exchanging documents like medical records and police reports.

Even during the lawsuit, there’s still a chance to settle things outside of court. In fact, many cases reach a settlement before ever going to trial. However, if a settlement isn’t possible, the case will go to trial. During a trial, both sides present their evidence to a judge or jury.

The Benefits of Legal Representation

Having a lawyer by your side after a car accident can make a significant difference. Such cases are complicated, with lots of legal rules and insurance jargon to navigate. A lawyer who specializes in this area knows the ins and outs of the law and can help you understand your rights and options.

They’ll handle all the negotiations with the insurance company, fighting for the best possible outcome for you. And if your case goes to trial, they’ll be your advocate, making sure your side of the story is heard loud and clear.


Driving in busy cities can be a thrilling experience, but it also comes with the unfortunate reality of potential accidents. If you find yourself in this situation, knowing your legal options can make all the difference in ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve. Don’t let the complexities of the legal system deter you. By understanding the process and seeking knowledgeable guidance, you can confidently navigate your path to recovery.

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