What should you do after an accident? Getting out of the hospital after being injured in a car accident is often the start of a long process of both physical and financial healing. You will most likely find that the party at fault will be reluctant to compensate you much, if at all, which is why it is important to have an accident injury lawyer on your side who knows the ins and outs of a civil case.
Initial Stages of a Lawsuit
If the other party will not amicably agree immediately on your attorney's demand for compensation, a lawsuit will be filed on your behalf against either the other driver or their insurance company. The filing will consist of a description of what happened, why you deserve compensation, and how much money you are seeking. The other side will receive a copy of the filing which will usually lead to the next step.
A good accident injury lawyer will be able to wrap up a case in short order by making it clear early on in the process that you have a good chance of winning what you are seeking. There is usually a little bit of back and forth between both sides of the case, but it's in everyone's best interests to get the case quickly settled. A quick settlement gives you compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and other expenses. It also saves the other side the expenses of a long court case which will probably end up being decided against them.
Settlements can be agreed upon at any point of a case before a final judgment is handed down. If evidence starts being collected by both sides, there is a good chance the process will last at least a few months, if not longer. Going through the process of collecting evidence can sometimes be seen as a sign that one side is not willing to reach a compromise on a settlement offer. During this time, both sides will try talking to witnesses, gather paperwork, review expenses, prepare subpoenas, etc.
Presenting Your Case
The days before, or even the day of, a trial presents a window of opportunity for a settlement to be reached. Once both sides have collected all of the evidence, it should be fairly clear to an accident injury lawyer which side will prevail in the case. Some settlements are even worked out just outside the courtroom doors before the trial begins. For cases that do proceed in front of a judge, this may be the quickest part of the entire process. Generally, car accident injury cases take no more than a few days to complete before a judge hands down their ruling.
Collecting Your Judgment
If the judge determines you are entitled to compensation, your attorney will help you collect the payment(s) on your behalf. Insurance companies will often pay when instructed to by a judge, but individuals may either choose not to or may be unable to pay all at once. Your lawyer will file the necessary paperwork with their court if the other side proves to be uncooperative, or they will handle payment arrangements if the other party requires a payment plan to satisfy the judgment.
Brad Pistotnik is available 24 hours a day at 316-706-5020 or you can reach him on his office line at 1-800-241-BRAD. He and his team operate help clients in many Kansas cities including Wichita, Liberal, Garden City, Dodge City, Topeka, Kansas City, and Coffeyville, as well as many others. You can also reach Tony Atterbury at 316-617-9237.