Typically, the amount of information and evidence you obtain before filing a lawsuit or going to court for a car accident will determine how long the process takes. The more evidence you have, the more your attorney can avoid delays in the lawsuit.
Before filing the lawsuit, you should try and obtain:
Copies of the police report
Pictures of the crash scene and damage to your vehicle
Medical reports or statements from your doctor about your treatment and diagnosis
Contact and insurance information of the other driver
It may be time-consuming to get these documents and evidence but they will help your case exponentially.
What You Need to Do in Filing a Lawsuit
To answer the question, “How much work will I have to do in a car accident lawsuit? ”, you should understand the settlement process. After you file your claim, there won’t be a tremendous amount of work required on your part. However, every case is unique and some may require more effort than others.
You and your attorney will write a letter to the other driver’s insurance company about the damages incurred and what you would like to receive in terms of compensation. This shouldn’t require much work on your part because your auto accident attorney will know the language and necessary points to include in the letter. However, you will need to evaluate the circumstances of your case and decide an equitable settlement amount.
If the lawsuit moves forward, you may need to provide more information to your attorney during the “discovery” phase. Discovery is when both sides exchange the information and evidence so that no party is surprised by the other side’s findings. Also, you may need to follow up with your doctor and get their opinion of how much your future care will cost.
The other work you may have to do in the lawsuit is to provide testimony through questioning or depositions. If the other driver’s legal team wants to question you, they’ll request that you answer by a certain date. You should always check with your Langdon & Emison car accident lawyer in Chicago to make sure the questions the other party asks are relevant and will not harm your case.
Depositions are similar but will happen in person with both party’s lawyers and a court reporter present.
Essentially, the only other work you’ll have to do after this step is to stay in close communication with your attorney. After the discovery and questioning process, it may be time to enter into negotiations. Make sure you and your attorney are on the same page regarding how much compensation you can recover.
Each side’s attorney will negotiate back and forth over the settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached but seems close, your lawyer can request mediation. This is when a mediator facilitates the conversation between both parties. In mediation, anything the attorney says cannot be used in court, so this may be beneficial in your case.
If mediation and negotiations fail, your case may go to trial. The trial date may be months to a year or two away, so this step can be frustrating. You may be questioned again or need to help your lawyer procure witnesses.
Car Accident Lawyers in Chicago
Car accident lawsuits can be frustrating and time-consuming. You may feel discouraged that something would take so long when you weren’t at fault and just want money to pay your medical bills. How much work you have to do in a car accident lawsuit is dependent on the talent and expert knowledge of your car accident lawyers, and we have been doing it for more than 30 years.
As a plaintiff, you’ll need to help collect evidence in the pre-filing and discovery phases of the lawsuit, but every case is different. You may need to put more effort into the trial or negotiations depending on the details of your case.
With Langdon & Emison, you can trust that our lawyers put in the effort to win. We have decades of experience helping injured Chicagoans recover the money they need, and we’ve taken stress and worry off our client’s shoulders to help them focus on their recovery. If you were involved in a car accident in Chicago and want to file a lawsuit, you need to understand your legal options and speak with an experienced attorney. Call Langdon & Emison at (312) 872-3389 or contact us for a free case consultation.