When Does a Car Accident Claim Become a Lawsuit?

When Does a Car Accident Claim Become a Lawsuit?The legal process for a car accident can be extremely complicated. On top of that, you may be experiencing pain, losing income, and running out of money to cover your daily and monthly necessities and medical expenses. You may be thinking that you are approaching the finish line when your insurance company is ready to start the settlement negotiations process.

However, you may soon realize that the settlement negotiations failed because the insurance company’s offer was not fair or accurate compared to the money that you deserve. Even though this may seem like a setback for you, the good news is that a Kansas City car accident lawyer from our firm can handle this situation while you continue to focus on healing.

What can you do if an insurance company does not offer you a reasonable settlement?

If you have hired a car accident attorney from our firm, we will handle all communication with the insurance company to ensure that you do not have to worry about making the wrong statements that could be turned around and used against you. In addition, your attorney will also take control of the settlement negotiation process, which is when we go back and forth with the insurance companies to reach a fair and just amount of compensation for your injuries, daily living expenses, lost wages, medical bills, and more.

While this part of the process may be extremely stressful and frustrating to you, it is important to remember that what the insurance company offers is only an “offer”, and you are not required to take it. Your Kansas City car accident lawyer is knowledgeable, experienced, and skilled when it comes to settlement negotiations, and we will work with other professionals, such as accountants and physicians, to determine how much money would be fair and accurate for your recovery. If the amount of money that is offered does not match up to the amount calculated by your attorney, we will most likely suggest that you do not take it.

You should also keep in mind that it is very common for victims of car accidents to reject the initial offer from insurance companies. This is because insurance companies tend to offer a low-ball amount at first in hopes that you will take it and save them some money.  If the offer isn’t fair, we will inform the insurance company why you are rejecting their settlement as well as make a counteroffer. This will encourage more negotiations, which can seem daunting but are completely normal. Most of the time, the settlement negotiations will continue until a fair amount is reached or the insurance company decides that they are done negotiating.

If the insurance company ever decides that they are done negotiating or a reasonable settlement cannot be reached, your car accident lawyer can file a lawsuit. You should know that at Kansas City Accident Injury attorneys, we are always prepared for this outcome. Every case we take we prepare as though a trial may be necessary to secure the best possible outcome for you. We sit down with you and explain every detail of your case and what occurred during the settlement process. Then, we talk to you about what it means to “go to court,” and what you might expect.

What is the actual process for a car accident lawsuit?

If you and your attorney decide to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party, there are several different steps that your car accident case will go through. We will go over each below.

  • Your attorney will file the lawsuit on your behalf: Your attorney will file your lawsuit on your behalf and make sure it is submitted in a timely fashion. You are the “plaintiff,” and the individual who caused your accident and injuries is the “defendant.” They will receive notification that you have filed a lawsuit.
  • Your attorney will collect any additional evidence about your accident: If there is any additional evidence or information needed to help your case during the court trial, your attorney will work with you to find it. We want to make sure we have everything we need before we reach the next step in the process.
  • Your attorney and the defendant’s legal team will look at each other’s evidence: This is the discovery process, which is when your legal team and the defendant’s legal team exchange and look at one another’s evidence. A lot of cases end up settling during this time, once the defense realizes what evidence we possess to prove you are not at fault and have suffered serious injuries.
  • Your case goes to a pre-trial hearing. This is where a judge meets with both sides’ attorneys and decides whether a trial is necessary. If the other side wants to settle after all, and their offer is fair, we can present that to the judge. If not, then the judge will set a date for trial. This is also when we submit any motions, discuss jury instructions, and more.
  • Your case goes before a jury: Since the insurance company did not settle, your case will proceed to a jury trial. This whole time, from the moment we take your case, your lawyer will be working hard behind the scenes to continue preparing until the court date arrives. For example, we will be gathering evidence pieces, finding eyewitnesses, hiring expert witnesses, and even helping you prepare for your court testimony. This hard work will help us persuade the jury that the defendant caused your accident and should be required to pay maximum compensation for your damages. However, you must keep in mind that you or the defendant’s side can decide to settle a lawsuit at any time, even if you are in the middle of a trial.

How will a Kansas City car accident lawyer help my case?

Hiring a car accident lawyer can increase your chances of winning as well as show the insurance company that you are serious and not backing down about the award you deserve. Sometimes, an insurance company will decide to backtrack and revise their offer when they see that you have hired an attorney because they do not want to spend time (or money) going to court, and they know that you are owed the money you are seeking.

Additionally, by working with a car accident attorney, you can rest assured knowing that we know and understand the laws surrounding your case. We know how you should pursue to receive the best outcome possible. Many times, all it takes is threatening a lawsuit, and insurance companies will hurry to settle your claim.

Unfortunately, insurance companies are becoming very difficult to communicate and deal with. However, the team at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys will remain by your side through every hurdle or challenge that arises from your case. Whether you are in the beginning stages of your claim or are in the middle of going back and forth negotiating with insurance companies, our car accident lawyers are ready to assist you. We will let you know if the compensation you are seeking is accurate and fair and if the offers you receive reflect your losses. All you have to do is call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today. You can also visit our Kansas City, MO office during normal business hours or schedule an appointment (required) at our other locations in Lee’s Summit, Parkville and St. Joseph (MO); Olathe, Kansas City, and Overland Park (KS).