Vehicle accidents happen without warning, can take place anywhere, and often have life-changing consequences. No one is immune to this type of event, and that is what makes them so frightening. Even careful drivers are at the mercy of the most careless people on the road. Lawsuits are a frequent part of many accidents because of the losses people suffer and the difficulty of working with insurance companies. However, the cost of legal help makes it necessary for drivers to do their research before they file a complaint.
Know the Total
Sometimes, an Auto Accident includes only minor damages and injuries that the insurance claim easily covers. Insurance policies that include roadside service and rental vehicles leave little for the driver to pay out of their pocket. Minor injuries that do not lead to lost work time or force people into rehabilitation or surgery usually do not add up enough to justify a lawsuit. In fact, many courts will dismiss cases where the victim did not have any substantial losses.
Avoid Excessive Costs
Choose an attorney that offers free consultations. No one wants to pay a legal bill just to discover they do not have a solid case. Make sure the lawyer retained for a vehicle accident lawsuit only deducts their fee from the final payout and not the full judgment. Discuss their contingency fees to make sure the amount of the settlement left after paying legal bills will cover all the accident-related expenses.
Consider Going Alone
Drivers that live anywhere other than a state with no-fault insurance laws can go to small claims court to recoup their expenses. Every state puts a limit on how much people can sue for in these courts. Tennessee allows the highest amount of $25,000, but most cap it at $5,000 to $6,000. There is no guarantee of success, the victim does all the work, and there are filing fees. The filing fees are usually under $100, but going to court can take time to gather the evidence and most victims will need to take time off work.
Legal advertisements sometimes make it seem as if a payout is possible after an accident. The reality is that only accidents that unfairly burden the victim with expenses and injuries have any potential for recovery. Research carefully before filing a lawsuit to prevent any further frustration.