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Lawsuits & Litigation

What to Know About Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit

— March 1, 2022

One of the most important things to understand about filing a car accident lawsuit is that it can be expensive.

If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be wondering if you have a case and, if so, what you need to do to file a lawsuit. We will cover topics such as the statute of limitations, the evidence required for a successful case, and damages that can be recovered. 

Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit: An Overview

If you decide that you want to file a car accident lawsuit, there are several things you need to do. The first step is to contact an experienced lawyer who can help you determine the validity of your case and guide you through the legal process. 

You will also need to gather evidence and keep track of any expenses you incur because of the accident, such as medical bills or property damage.

Once your lawsuit is filed with the court system, it will go through a series of stages before going to trial: 

  • The complaint is drafted by your lawyer and then served on the defendants in your case.
  • Discovery takes place where both sides exchange information and documents related to the case.
  • The parties may mediate or settle the case at any time before trial.
  • If the case does not settle, it goes to trial, where a judge or jury will decide who is responsible for the accident and how much money should be awarded to each party.

The Statute of Limitations

One of the most important things to understand about filing a car accident lawsuit is the statute of limitations, which is a law that sets a time limit on how long you have to file a claim. 

The statute of limitations for car accidents is two years in most states. This means that you must file your lawsuit within two years of the accident date. If you do not file within this time limit, you will likely lose your right to sue.

It is important to note that the statute of limitations may differ if your case involves a wrongful death. In most states, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is two or three years.

Discuss your case with a local Cumming car accident attorney to learn what statute of limitations applies to your case and if you qualify for any exceptions.

The Evidence Required for a Successful Case

To file a successful car accident lawsuit, you will need evidence to support your side of the events. This proof can include witness statements, police reports, photographs of the scene, and medical records. If you do not have this evidence, the court may dismiss your case.

Police officer leaning in window of car after accident; image by Matt Chesin, via
Image by Matt Chesin, via

It is important to remember that any information may be used against you. For example, if you have been injured in a car accident and you file a lawsuit, the other driver may use your medical records to argue that you were, in fact, not hurt in the accident.

Damages That Can Be Recovered

In a car accident lawsuit, you can recover damages for both your economic and non-economic losses. 

  • Economic damages can be objectively measured, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. 
  • Non-economic damages cannot be easily quantified, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

It is important to note that the amount you can recover in a car accident lawsuit may be limited by your state’s laws. There are caps on non-economic damages in some states, which limit how much money you can receive for pain and suffering or emotional distress.

The Cost of Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit

One of the most important things to understand about filing a car accident lawsuit is that it can be expensive. There are many costs associated with pursuing your case in courts, such as filing fees, deposition costs, expert witness fees, and travel expenses for out-of-town trials. 

These costs can add up quickly, so it is essential to make sure that you are prepared for them before deciding to file a lawsuit.

Final Thoughts

If you have been injured in a car accident and would like more information about filing a lawsuit, don’t hesitate to contact a law office for a free consultation. A dedicated team of lawyers will review your case and help you determine what your next steps should be.

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