This article was first published Aug. 21, 2019.
You have been in a car accident and have no idea what to do. The experience of being in an auto accident can be a jarring, unsettling experience. As you seek treatment for physical and emotional injuries associated with the car accident, you might be overly stressed about handling your car accident claim. But have no fear because your West Palm Beach car accident attorney is here to help you through this stressful time.
A typical question many clients have is, “how long does a car accident lawsuit take?”
The length of a car accident lawsuit can vary for a number of reasons. Your car accident attorney is here for you every step of the way to move things along more quickly than if you were to take on this huge responsibility all on your own. Our main focus is to do all the heavy lifting while you focus treating your injuries.
The following steps shown below will take you through the hard work our West Palm Beach car accident lawyers do for clients like you.
Step 1: Consult A West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer
Following a car accident, it is important to consult an experienced car accident lawyer in West Palm Beach about the specific circumstances of your case, including:
- Whether the negligence of another driver was involved
- Whether the other driver broke any laws or was under the influence of any substances
- Whether any third parties, like a municipality responsible for maintaining or signing the roadway, or a construction company, were negligent
- What evidence you gathered at the scene and what it shows
- The extent and severity of your injuries
- The extent of the damage to your vehicle
- Your medical costs
- Your best legal options moving forward
Step 2: Investigation of Your Case by Your Lawyer
When you retain a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer from our firm, he or she will fully and independently investigate your personal injury claim. This includes police reports, testimony from witnesses, the accident scene, any photographs taken at the time of the accident, medical records, repair bills, your employment history and earning capacity, your lifestyle and how it has been negatively impacted by the accident, and more.
We pride ourselves on having car accident lawyers who take a comprehensive look at wrongs committed and damages suffered in a car accident case, to get a full picture of how you have been injured. Our attorneys have a command of Florida traffic laws and will compare them to the facts of your case to see if any laws were broken.
When appropriate, the attorney may engage the services of accident reconstruction experts, medical experts and other experts in a variety of fields to help make your case. Your attorney will also examine the possible defenses of the opposing party and determine liability.
Further, your attorney may contact accident witnesses and obtain statements, along with sending a formal “preservation letter” to potential defendants or witnesses in your car accident case, demanding that they not destroy any evidence that could help your claim.
Step 3: Demand Package & Lawsuit
After reviewing all of the evidence in your case, the next step is to draft and send a demand letter, offering a chance for settlement instead of a pending lawsuit. A well-written demand letter will outline your case, mention the applicable legal standard, and explain liability and damages (injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of life’s enjoyment and future medical care).
The letter is sent to the opposing party, who may be an individual, business and/or insurance company. The letter will almost always find its way into the hands of an attorney, who will review it from the defense side, which is why it is so important that it be carefully drafted by an experienced attorney.
The opposing party will generally either reject the demand, make a counteroffer or accept it. In some cases, fault is straightforward, liability is promptly conceded, and any dispute concerns the extent of your damages only, which the attorneys will work out through negotiation.
If your case cannot be settled up front, our attorneys will prepare to file a lawsuit seeking the compensation you deserve.
Step 4: Discovery Phase
Prior to trial, the opposing parties obtain further evidence from one another through a formal process called discovery. There are certain rules in Florida and in every state that govern this process, which is why you want to work with a car accident lawyer in West Palm Beach who is familiar with the discovery rules and will obtain the most information possible to make your case. We leave no stone unturned during discovery.
Step 5: Mediation
Before or after a lawsuit is filed, a mediator – who may be a retired judge or another attorney who has seen many car accidents cases – may oversee mediation between the parties in an effort to avoid trial. Mediation is an informal proceeding in which the parties attempt to reach an agreement among themselves, rather than be subjected to an outside decision by a judge or jury.
Our West Palm Beach accident attorneys have extensive experience with mediation and can negotiate a high-value settlement for you during this process, while remaining ready to take the case to trial, if necessary.
Step 6: Trial & Appeal
If mediation does not result in a mutually acceptable result, the next phase of the car accident case is trial. In this process, a decision-maker – either a judge or a jury – will evaluate the facts in relation to the law, determine fault and potentially award damages. Our team consists of experienced trial lawyers – lawyers with a winning record who know their way around a courtroom and who have tried countless car accident cases with successful outcomes for our clients.
Depending on the specific issues in the case, the losing party may attempt to appeal a case. This often happens if a legal or procedural argument can be raised, and the losing party will want to pull out all of the stops to avoid a judgment against them.
If it becomes necessary to wage an appeal or defend against one, our firm is made up of some of Florida’s best attorneys, who can assist you, as they’ve assisted many clients before, with various issues that go before the appellate courts.
We don’t kick back and relax when you win the first time; we do all we can to make sure you win in the end.
Call Steinger, Greene & Feiner If You Were Involved in a Car Accident
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, you will need a lawyer with specific experience dealing with such cases and the proper resources to deal with yours. Call Steinger, Greene & Feiner at (561) 566-5021 for a free consultation.
Steinger, Greene & Feiner are personal injury attorneys serving those suffering from catastrophic injuries throughout Florida. There is no fee to discuss your case and absolutely no fee unless we win and get you the money you are entitled to. We truly understand your situation and will do everything possible in our power to help you!