How to Choose a Car Accident Lawyer for an Injury Lawsuit

Colorado Springs Personal Injury Law Firm (1)

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

June 23, 2021

CAR ACCIDENT LAWSUIT ATTORNEY IN COLORADO SPRINGS

In most car accident situations, the initial step is to submit a claim with the at-fault parties’ insurance companies to recover damages. While some insurance claims are successful, and car accident victims get the cash they want, many others do not. Delays, lowball offers, and even rejections of legitimate claims are all possible outcomes. Insurance companies may be tough and will do all they can to keep claimants’ payouts minimum.

While an expert car accident lawyer can frequently assist you to increase your chances of receiving a good insurance payout, some cases may not go as planned. An insurance company may simply be unwilling (or unable) to provide what an injured accident victim genuinely deserves owing to policy constraints. It’s probably time to escalate the case and file a personal injury claim in a civil court under these circumstances.

Like any other sort of litigation, a personal injury lawsuit is a court action. The game alters substantially after you submit a claim in court. Many regulations and procedures do not apply to the insurance process, and following all of them are critical to the success of your claim. Failure to correctly conduct a legal action might imperil your case as well as your rights. As a result, when it comes to your injury case, you need the RIGHT counsel.

Choosing an attorney for an insurance claim; it’s quite another to go to court. You need a lawyer on your side who has handled litigation before and can defend you from the beginning of your case to its conclusion.

You should understand how a car accident lawsuit works before selecting the finest lawyer for court procedures. Here’s a quick rundown of how the legal system works.

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THE PROCESS OF FILING A LAWSUIT FOR A CAR ACCIDENT

Civil lawsuits, often known as personal injury or tort claims, seek redress for injuries sustained in car accidents. Civil cases begin with filing a complaint with the local civil court, and they all end the same way.

For example, if the accident occurred in Colorado Springs, you would file a complaint in El Paso County District Court. Your lawyer should know the correct court to submit your lawsuit in since this is a crucial aspect.

Many states have statutes of limitations that restrict the amount of time you have to initiate a case, and your lawyer should be able to inform you how much time you have and make sure you submit your claim before the deadline.

For example, if your state, like Colorado, mandates you to file within two years of the injury, your attorney has two years from the date of the car accident or the day you discovered your injuries to submit the lawsuit.

All of the charges you’re making in your complaint must be included, which normally include that the defendant was careless and should be held accountable for your injuries.

It will also explain what kind of remedy you are seeking, which in the event of a car accident is monetary compensation for your losses. You want an attorney who can draft a convincing complaint that will support your case from the beginning.

The other motorist and their insurance company, most likely footing the bill for their defense against your claim, have a certain length of time to reply to your petition. An answer in which the defendant confirms or rejects each claim may be included in the response.

It might also include counterclaims alleging that you were also involved in the car accident and are liable for your damages. It might also contain cross-claims, which attempt to pin the accident on another defendant if one exists. Your lawyer will have a certain amount of time to react once the defendant submits their answer.

PRELIMINARY MOTIONS ARE WRITTEN AND FILED BEFORE THE CASE IS HEARD

The defendant may submit a variety of motions that might impact your case, including:

A motion to dismiss, which does not necessarily contest the facts of the case but may argue that the complaint was filed too soon or that no remedy is necessary.

A request for removal from state to federal court, which would transfer your case from state to federal court (the motion needs to show that the case either involves federal law or that the defendant is from a different state)

A motion for change of venue, which would transfer your case to a new courthouse if granted.

Move your case to a different courtroom by filing a motion for a change of judge.

The case will proceed except for the motion to dismiss, even if the motion is granted. If further motions are granted, your lawyer’s legal strategy may need to change as a result.

PRE-TRIAL

If your request to dismiss is denied, the court will schedule a trial date in the future. Personal injury lawsuits are often scheduled around other civil matters, so don’t be shocked if your trial date is later than you expected.

The court might potentially require you and the defendant to participate in mediation. You and your car accident lawyer will meet with the defendant and their counsel for mediation sessions overseen by a neutral third-party mediator.

Your talk will be guided by the mediator, who will attempt to bring you together and reach an agreement. If you achieve a satisfactory agreement, you may formalize it in a mediation agreement, a legally enforceable contract, and the case will be dropped.

DISCOVERY

If mediation fails, your case will proceed to the discovery stage. Discovery is when both sides’ attorneys look into the facts and gather new information. It might include, among other things, interviewing witnesses and reviewing records.

Both parties must communicate any information acquired during discovery with the other and follow the tight and complicated rules of the civil process that govern discovery.

Your car accident lawyer may want to speak with drivers, bystanders, and anybody else who may have relevant information. These interviews often occur during a deposition, which is a legal process. At the depositions, all parties’ attorneys should be present and ask questions.

The deposed persons are questioned under oath, exactly as they would be in court, and their comments are recorded by a court reporter. Your lawyer in court might use deposition transcripts to help develop your case.

Suppose your lawyer believes the defendant possesses papers or information about the car accident that will aid your case. In that case, they may request that the defendant provide the documents or information as part of the discovery process.

Your attorney may utilize both depositions and documents obtained during discovery as evidence in your case. They may also exploit any information or proof they gathered to gain a competitive edge during settlement talks.

During discovery, many defendants’ lawyers would attempt to wear down the victim of an car accident. In response to a discovery request, they may attempt to get a large quantity of data or dump a mountain of papers on the plaintiff. You need an attorney who can deal with these issues and locate the crucial facts to your case without being bogged down.

POST-DISCOVERY

Your lawyer may make a petition for summary judgment if you and your car accident lawyer believe the facts acquired during discovery support your claims for compensation from the other motorist. A motion like this asks the court to determine the case’s conclusion without any hearings or a trial.

Your lawyer should provide facts and legal theories to back up the move. There would be no disagreement about the facts asserted in the case if the court granted the request. If the motion is denied, the court feels that a trial is necessary to determine the disputed facts.

If your case is still ongoing at this point, your lawyer will be preparing for trial while still negotiating with the other party. Trials are expensive regarding money, time, and energy, and many parties would want to avoid them.

If your claim is being handled by an experienced negotiator, they may negotiate an arrangement with the defendant and the insurance company that covers your damages. Your lawsuit will be closed, and you will not have to go to trial if you reach a settlement agreement.

Only a tiny fraction of car accident cases proceed to trial, and the vast majority of them are settled at this point of the litigation process. A settlement in a car accident may be kept private, but a trial record and outcome cannot.

IF YOUR CASE IS TAKEN TO TRIAL, HERE ARE SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND.

Even though only a small percentage of car accident claims make it to trial, there is always the possibility that your case may. If anything like this occurs, you’ll want to make sure your lawyer has a lot of courtroom experience.

A bench trial before a judge or a jury trial is the two types of trial available. A judge decides all of the case’s facts and legal concerns in a bench trial. A jury trial implies that a jury of your peers will determine the facts of the case, and the judge will apply the law to them.

The standards of evidence and civil process are both quite severe in trials. Your lawyer should be not only knowledgeable about all of the regulations but also confident in his or her ability to present your case under them.

A good trial lawyer should be swift, dynamic, and compelling while presenting your case and losses to the jury. The jury will determine not only who wins the case but also how much of your injury claim you should get.

CHOOSING THE BEST LITIGATION ATTORNEY FOR YOUR CASE

During your first legal search, you should think about the prospect of a lawsuit. If your case goes to trial, you’ll need a lawyer who understands the specifics of your claim and can stand up for you in court, throughout settlement discussions, and at trial. When selecting an attorney, keep the following traits in mind:

LITIGATION EXPERIENCE

Does the attorney have a lot of case experience? Do they hesitate to launch a lawsuit if it is in their best interests?

PROFESSIONAL CONNECTIONS

Does the lawyer operate in this jurisdiction regularly? Each court is unique, so getting to know the judges and their preferences might be beneficial.

REPUTATION

If a lawyer has a reputation for being a tough litigator, the opposite side may be more likely to settle before going to trial. The opposing side’s attorneys will know you mean business if you have a good reputation throughout the litigation procedure.

MONEY

Even if you don’t go to trial, litigation may be expensive. You want a lawyer who can pay your legal fees, so you don’t have to. After that, you may deduct the fees from your settlement to compensate your attorney.

FOR ASSISTANCE, CONTACT A SKILLED CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER.

Look for a group of car accident lawyers with the expertise, contacts, reputation, and resources to represent you in court—someone who isn’t hesitant to use trial skills as leverage, so opposing lawyers know they won’t back down.

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