Filing a Car Accident Claim in Clarksburg
When dealing with an auto wreck and personal injury, you could hire an attorney to represent you and help initiate a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company.
It could be beneficial to hire an experienced Clarksburg lawyer when filing a car accident claim because they are familiar with the process and how the insurance company might want to settle the case. They could help you understand which evidence to gather and discern if a case will require a suit to be filed in court or if it can be settled without trial.
Filing an Action After a Car Accident
Filing an action does not forfeit the right to negotiate outside of court. A lawsuit entails a formalized process in the court system, but both sides are always free to negotiate outside of court to try and resolve the claim themselves through a settlement. If a claim has been filed with the insurance company that provides them with enough information to assess the fault of their insured driver, the case could be resolved without a court proceeding.
A settlement is often favorable to a trial because it could shorten the time of the case. However, if the case cannot be resolved or settled, the claimant and their attorney might have to file a lawsuit in court to have a judge or jury decide the matter.
First Steps to Filing a Claim
Before filing an action, the insurance company should be made aware that the individual, represented by an attorney, is asking the company to open a claim. The attorney representing the injured individual may notify the at-fault party’s insurance company that all communication should be directed towards the attorney and that the injured individual should not be contacted in any way. At that point, the insurance company might want to know what information or evidence exists to supports the claim that their insured driver was at fault for the accident. Otherwise, the insurance company might not have enough proof to justify why it should pay for the claimant’s damages. The attorney may then draft a demand in an attempt to resolve the case with the company.
The attorney must have proof of damages for settlement negotiations to begin, such as:
- Medical records
- Present and projected medical bills
- Present and possible future lost wages
- An opinion from the injured individual’s medical doctor about how the injuries have affected the individual’s life and if any of the injuries are permanent.
However, most cases are not resolved this way, and the injured individual will often have to file suit in court to pursue compensation for their injury.
Taking a Claim to Court in Clarksburg
Once a suit is filed, both sides are allowed to learn about each other’s case and discover any evidence they might have. Once they go to court to present their evidence before a judge or jury, the claimant’s attorney must prove that the defendant was, more likely than not, at fault for the accident which caused the individual’s injuries.
A typical car accident suit could be filed in the county circuit court. Smaller claims may be filed in the magistrate court of the county where the incident happened. A car accident lawsuit could also be filed in a federal district court if specific conditions are met.
A Clarksburg Attorney Could Represent You When Filing a Lawsuit
Taking action and going to court after a car accident does not have to be an overwhelming process. A practiced attorney could advocate for you against insurance companies, help you negotiate a settlement, and help you file suit if you do not receive your desired outcome.
Let a Clarksburg car accident lawyer help you with filing a case successfully. Call today for professional legal guidance.