If you are the victim of a car accident, you may have questions about what happens next. Many people who are involved in a car accident are not familiar with the legal process and do not know the first step to take. The attorneys at SMDA are here to help you with each step of the process and answer any questions you may have. We understand that being injured unexpectedly can be overwhelming, which is why our skilled attorneys strive to help you handle the legal aspect of your case.
While no two cases are exactly alike, the following is a general breakdown of the personal injury case process so you can know what to expect:
- Meeting with an attorney. A personal injury claim begins with consulting an attorney who has experience handling these types of cases. Goodman Acker P.C. has decades of experience with all types of personal injury claims, including auto accident claims, slip and fall claims, wrongful death claims, and much more. Our attorneys offer free initial consultations, during which we review the facts and evidence of your case and make a determination about whether you stand a good chance of recovering compensation.
- Filing court papers. To begin the case, you and your attorney will need to file legal papers called “pleadings.” Pleadings include a complaint or petition, summons and service of process, an answer from the defendant, and more. These documents form the basis of your lawsuit.
- The discovery process. The discovery process, which can include written discovery, document discovery, and document production, is the process by which opponents in a lawsuit gather information from each other to establish the facts of the case.
- Resolutions before trial. Pretrial motions are filed during this time, which seek to resolve the matter before it goes to trial. Pretrial motions include motions to dismiss the case, summary judgment of motion, motion for default judgment, or sua sponte (“voluntary”) dismissal.
- Settlement. If possible, an attorney will typically try to negotiate a settlement before a lawsuit reaches trial. With a settlement, the plaintiff agrees to forfeit any further legal action in exchange for payment of an agreed-upon amount from either an insurance company or the defendant. An attorney at Goodman Acker P.C. can help you decide whether your best interest are better served by a settlement or taking a matter to trial.
- Trial and judgment. If a settlement cannot be reached, the lawsuit will go to trial, and the case will be argued before a jury. The judge will then make his or her final determination on the matter.
- Collecting compensation. When you “win” your case in court, you may be awarded monetary damages to be paid by the defendant. The process of collecting this money may require additional steps if the defendant refuses to pay or cannot afford to pay the full amount. Your attorney can advise you on how best to handle this situation.
If you or a loved one have been injured through no fault of your own, the time is now to contact Goodman Acker P.C. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin working towards justice for you and your family. Consultations are free and there are no up-front costs!