Most car accident cases are settled before even going to court. A good car accident attorney can secure a car accident pre-lawsuit settlement by negotiating with the defendant’s legal team. It’s always better to keep the matter out of the courts if possible.
Reviewing your own and the at-fault party’s insurance policies
The first step in settling your case is determining exactly what your and/or the defendant’s insurance will cover. Florida is a no-fault state, which means that your insurance will cover at least some of your damages regardless of who is at fault. You may still have to seek compensation from the driver’s insurance, however. If you feel you are not getting sufficient cover from either your insurance company or the defendant’s, you can then pursue legal action (not necessarily going to court, but at least negotiating a better settlement with the help of an attorney). In order to do so, you and your lawyer need to know what these parties were required to pay.
Filing a lawsuit after your accident
If a settlement can’t be reached, the case may then go to court. The lawsuit is filed in the circuit court located in the county where the accident took place, or in which the defendant resides.
Negotiating the settlement
Even a lawsuit has been filed, it is still possible to settle out of court. The negotiations for the settlement take place between your attorney and the insurance company. Often, an insurance company will only deal with an attorney, which is why you must hire a personal injury attorney to handle your car accident claim.
Going to court
If negotiations fail, your car accident attorney may decide to take the case to court. They will talk you through the next steps in the case, which will basically involve you and the defendant presenting your sides of the story to a judge. Once hearing the case, the judge will then reach a verdict, which both you and the defendant have the right to appeal. Even during court proceedings, negotiations can continue and you could still settle before or after the judge reads the verdict.
If you require compensation after a car accident in Florida or New York, book a consultation with one of the personal injury attorneys at Shamis & Gentile. We will do our best to get you the settlement you deserve, whether in court, or by negotiating a car accident pre-lawsuit settlement.