How do I File an Auto Accident Lawsuit?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

Filing an auto accident lawsuit is often a multi-step process that requires serious preparation. Often done to receive compensation after an accident has caused property or personal damage, filing this lawsuit may be necessary if insurance payouts do not cover all damages, or if one of the parties in an accident does not have insurance. Some of the steps that may be necessary to file a lawsuit and prepare for a court cases include speaking to a lawyer, finding out personal and insurance information for all involved parties, filing required documents with the correct court, and paying court fees.

Eyewitnesses may be called to testify during an auto accident lawsuit.
Eyewitnesses may be called to testify during an auto accident lawsuit.

One good way to get started with filing an auto accident lawsuit is to consult a local attorney. An experienced and reputable attorney will understand regional laws about auto accident claims, and may be able to tell a client what the basic steps of the process are and what results may be anticipated. While it may not be necessary to hire a lawyer to file an auto accident lawsuit, arranging a consulting session with a well-regarded lawyer may help a person determine whether filing a lawsuit is the best option, and how to proceed.

It's important to collect as many details as possible about the accident when filing a lawsuit claim.
It's important to collect as many details as possible about the accident when filing a lawsuit claim.

In order to file a lawsuit, it is important to provide personal information, insurance data, and contact information for the defendant. It may be necessary to include supplementary information such as the official accident report, or billing statements from doctors or automobile repair shops. If there are eyewitnesses, or if either vehicle had additional passengers, their full names and contact information should be obtained. If the filing party did not obtain this information at the time of the accident, the official accident report may include any missing contact data.

To find out exactly what documents need to be filed to start an auto accident lawsuit, consider speaking with the local court clerk. While clerks cannot provide legal advice, they can provide the correct forms for an auto accident suit, and can answer any questions about these forms. They may also be able to provide information about statutes of limitations on accident claims, and may also have a good list of resources of reading material about applicable laws.

In order to file the forms to start a lawsuit, the filing party often needs to pay a fee to the court. These fees vary by region, and can sometimes be waived if the filing party meets certain economic conditions. If the filing party wins his or her lawsuit, the defendant may be required to repay the court fees to the plaintiff.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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