If you’ve been looking for a trusted motor vehicle accident lawyer Lanham MD has to offer, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many ways a car accident injury claim might be settled.. At Cohen & Cohen, we understand that car accidents can be influenced by many different factors — and these factors can also have a big impact on the way that resulting injury claims are settled. Injured claimants should keep in mind that each case is unique and deserves the attention of a top motor vehicle accident lawyer Lanham MD can provide.
Here is a quick look at how a car accident injury victim might be able to claim compensation following the accident.
Filing an Accident Injury Claim
Many individuals begin the process of collecting compensation by filing a claim with the appropriate insurance company. Injured claimants might file a claim with their own insurer if they live in a “no-fault” state, but if they live in a “fault” state, they will likely submit a claim with the insurer of the liable party.
As an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer Lanham MD trusts might explain, the claimant will have to provide evidence that proves the fault of the other party — and the insurer could still potentially choose to deny the claim. It may be possible to reach a fair settlement with the other driver’s insurance company if there is enough proof that the other driver was at fault. However, if the claimant is unable to reach a fair settlement with the insurer, it’s possible to attempt a settlement through negotiations or arbitration rather than taking the matter to court.
One method of negotiating for a settlement is called mediation. This process involves the use of a professional mediator to reach an agreement, and the entire process is conducted outside of the courtroom. Both parties must agree to mediation and neither side is subject to providing information during discussions that is under oath. In other words, neither side has to worry about making an unfair or exaggerated statement that would be admissible in court, should mediation discussions fail.
During mediation, the mediator hears statements from both sides and then makes suggestions about how the dispute might be settled. The suggestions made by the mediator are not binding and both sides have the ability to reject the proposal.
Arbitration is similar to mediation, but the processes are slightly more formal. Like mediation, a trained arbitrator will discuss the accident with both sides in out-of-court discussions. Both parties agree to the process of arbitration and both parties have the ability to decide on which arbitrator will oversee the case.
However, there is one major difference between mediation and arbitration: The resolution proposed by the arbitrator is not a suggestion; rather, it is binding and neither side has the ability to reject it. Plaintiffs might choose arbitration because it promises a solution and ensures that the case does not go court (thereby saving time and money for both parties). Plaintiffs might also choose to avoid arbitration, however, because there is no opportunity to file an appeal if the decision is not favorable.
Filing a Civil Court Lawsuit
There are a few reasons why individuals might choose to file a lawsuit for car accident injuries. Firstly, the nature of the case might be so complex that a local motor vehicle accident lawyer Lanham MD relies on has advised the injured plaintiff to take the matter to court. However, it is more common to seek compensation initially through an out-of-court settlement rather than jumping into a lawsuit. If out-of-court negotiations do not come to fruition, if there are liability disputes that inhibit the settlement process, or if the insurance company refuses to provide a fair settlement, then the claimant might decide to file a civil court lawsuit.
This process begins when the injured person files an official complaint in the appropriate civil court. Injury lawsuits are handled in civil court rather than criminal court (although if the defendant committed a criminal act, there could potentially be a lawsuit in criminal court and in civil court). Civil court procedures primarily focus on the plaintiff obtaining financial compensation for another person’s wrongdoing or negligence.
When a lawsuit for a car accident injury begins, there will be a process of notifying the defendant against whom the lawsuit is made, and then obtaining information about the accident. There will likely be different procedures to obtain a variety of information.
This information could include:
- Police report(s) of the incident
- Crash analysis and analysis of any vehicles involved
- Testimonies from eyewitnesses
- Collection of photo evidence
- Video recording(s) of the incident from nearby CCTV cameras
- Medical diagnoses and treatment information related to any injuries sustained by the plaintiff
Throughout the process of information discovery, it’s possible to have informal settlement negotiations to be happening simultaneously. This is something that could happen under the guidance of a skilled motor vehicle accident lawyer in Lanham MD. If both sides are able to reach a settlement at any point before the lawsuit goes to court, it’s possible for the plaintiff to drop the case and collect financial compensation.
If both sides cannot reach a settlement before the case goes to trial, both the plaintiff and defendant will be required to attend a trial. This process can be very complex and time-consuming, as an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer Lanham MD can provide will likely attest. Nevertheless, when this happens, the decision made there is final.
Contact a Local Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer Lanham MD Has To Offer
If you’ve been searching for a local Lanham MD motor vehicle accident lawyer, you might already know that your case is not the same as other injury cases. Each motor vehicle accident can be affected by many different factors and it’s important for an assisting attorney to give careful attention to each client.
At our firm, we know just how beneficial a talented lawyer can be for a client. We understand that our clients rely on us to provide valuable legal counsel during difficult cases. For more information about our law firm, or to schedule a free case evaluation with a top motor vehicle accident lawyer Lanham MD can provide, contact Cohen & Cohen today.