The following is an outline of a car accident injury case that we find useful to explain to clients. There are several other important nuances to any car accident case, but we find as Clayton County car accident lawyer educating our clients and potential clients is important in the process.
Pre-litigation involves all the steps before we actually file a law suit. In many cases, we never file a law suit but we still take the approach that we will one day have to explain your case to a jury so we prepare like we will eventually file a law suit.
1. We explained how we investigate your case, gather the evidence, and locate relevant insurance policies for us to make personal injury claims on. This happens in the pre-litigation phase. During this phase we will also gather evidence of your personal injury damages like medical expenses and lost wage claims. We may have to wait on the outcome of any treatment to conclude before we move on to the next step, so please be patient during this time as we gather our information. Being patient will pay off later.
2. Once we have the evidence in your cases collected, we will sit down and write a demand letter to the insurance companies. In this demand letter, we will tell your story of how the insurance company's client caused your injuries and lay out why the insurance company should pay your demand.
The insurance company has an option to accept our demand or to reject the demands and begin negotiating in an attempt to get us to settle for less. We find insurance adjuster at many companies are trained to minimize your damages in sometimes unreasonable ways and force our hand to file a law suit.
1. Once a law suit is filed, the case moves into an initial discovery phase. This phase may last months before we advance to a trial. This phase is important to both sides to gather further information and lock down evidence that may be used at trial.
Both sides will send admissions back and forth to agree on the simple facts about the car accident. Both sides will also request documents and other evidence allowed by the rules of procedure in Georgia that the other side has in their possession. Many of these requests will involve your participation and we can explain what is expected of you at that time.
2. During a law suit, you will likely be deposed by the insurance company's attorneys. In simple cases, this may take hours but can take a full day or longer in more complex cases.
We will be there with you and able to answer any questions you may have, but we find it important for you to present yourself as a composed individual because this will be the defense attorney's first impression of you as a potential witness at a trial. They will ask extremely personal questions in an attempt to rattle you, and we will do our best to guide you through the process, but they are typically allowed to ask you a wide range of questions in preparation for the trial.
3. As car accident attorneys, we find mediation as an important tool in settling cases. In a mediation, both sides will pick a neutral that is usually another attorney or judge versed in car accident law.
We will schedule a day to work with the mediator in an attempt to resolve the case short of trial. The initial step is for both sides to present their cases to the mediator before breaking off into separate rooms. The mediator will then go back and forth between both sides until a resolution is achieved or time is up.
Even if we do not settle your case at mediation, we find the process provides beneficial to settling your case or even setting us up for a positive result at trial.
As a Clayton County car accident lawyer, Sam McRae had his first civil jury trial in the State Court of Clayton County. He understands that Clayton County juries are a great equalizer in balancing the power of the insurance companies in favor of car accident victims.
1. As the plaintiff we go first at a trial. We will have the burden to prove the cause of your accident and the damages that you occurred due to the negligent driver. You will more than likely testify during this phase of the trial, and will be subject to cross examination of the insurance defense attorney.
2. The defense attorney will then present a case. They will already had the opportunity to cross examine our witnesses, but they may also put up their own witnesses to further poke holes into our case.
3. The jury decides. Following closing arguments, the jury will then deliberate the outcome of your case. They will decide questions of liability if they are contested and the issue of damages to award you.