When an accident occurs, most people file a car accident insurance claim to recover benefits. It’s rare for a car accident claim to go to court. Instead, going to trial is often a last resort, and many reach insurance settlements before filing a lawsuit.
Sometimes, though, if a settlement amount cannot be agreed upon, a car accident claim will find its way into a courtroom. If it does, here’s what you need to know about settling a car accident claim in court in Redmond.
Filing Your Lawsuit in Court
The first step in settling a car accident claim in court is filing the lawsuit. While you’re welcome to do this on your own, having an attorney help you through this process is advised.
The lawsuit is filed by filling out a formal legal complaint. In addition to filing the complaint and a summons, you will also have to serve the defendant the complaint and summons. The defendant will file an answer to the complaint.
Discovery in a Car Accident Lawsuit
After you’ve filed your lawsuit and the defendant filed a complaint, the case may move to the discovery stage. You likely already collected car accident evidence to prove the other driver’s fault and establish the damages you suffered when you were filing a lawsuit.
The discovery phase of settling a car accident claim in court allows you to request information from the other party. This includes asking questions via interrogatories and producing certain documents.
Like filing the lawsuit, gathering up all necessary information and building a case should be done with the assistance of a legal expert.
Going to Court
If you’re settling a car accident claim in court, you may continue negotiations with the other party while you are preparing for court. But even if you think you’ll ultimately settle out of court, make sure you’re prepared to go to court if need be.
Your attorney will handle most of the aspects of the trial, but be prepared to answer questions before a judge. Sometimes, these questions can be very personal and may violate your privacy, especially when they concern your injuries and their effects on your life. Preparing adequately for questions can help you answer them more accurately and calmly.
Not only will you be questioned, but you’ll also have the right – or your attorney will have the right – to question others in the courtroom.
- The other driver
- Medical professionals
- Any eyewitnesses to the accident
Calling witnesses and experts to the stand can be an essential part of success in a personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney can make sure you’re fully prepared for your role in the trial, and can make sure your case is ready to present before a judge or jury.
Get Help from an Attorney if Settling a Car Accident Claim in Court
In Washington, you have two years from the date of injury to file a personal injury claim. So don’t waste time trying to settle your case and filing a lawsuit if necessary.
Hire a legal representative to help with your case in any of these cases.
- You suffered significant injuries and damages
- You haven’t received a fair settlement offer
- You are struggling to reach a settlement with an insurance company
An attorney can help you to settle your claim out of court, and can be your advocate if your claim goes to court. For help in the Redmond area, call Max Meyers Law PLLC. Call us now at 425-399-7000 or use the form on our contact page to set up a consultation.