What Happens in a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Car accidents are an unfortunate result of negligence and careless driving. When these accidents happen, drivers and passengers may suffer serious injuries that leave them incapacitated for a significant amount of time. Fortunately, accident victims can pursue favourable monetary compensation via a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Suppose you recently suffered injuries in a car accident that a careless or reckless driver caused. In that case, you must contact a skilled car accident lawyer in Edmonton area as quickly as possible to explore your legal options.

What Happens in a Car Accident Lawsuit

Your lawyer can file a claim with the appropriate insurance company and begin negotiating a settlement offer that fairly compensates you for your accident-related injuries.

If the insurance company refuses to make a favourable settlement offer, you can file a lawsuit and litigate your case through the court system. Your lawyer will join you on every step during the litigation process and, if necessary, represent you at legal proceedings, such as a deposition, courtroom trial, or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) hearing.

Where Do Car Accidents Happen?

Car accidents typically occur when other drivers make mistakes or behave carelessly behind the wheel. Since careless drivers exist everywhere, accidents may happen on busy highways, rural country roads, and parking lots or garages.

Some of the most common car crashes that happen when other drivers behave negligently include: 

  • Sideswipe accidents, where a negligent driver causes their vehicle to veer into another travel lane, striking the side of a car travelling in the same direction
  • T-bone or broadside accidents, where the front portion of a vehicle hits the side panel of another car, usually on an intersecting roadway
  • Rear-end accidents, where one vehicle hits the back of another car, usually because the rear driver drove too fast
  • Head-on collisions, where the front of one vehicle hits the front of an oncoming car, usually because the at-fault driver is not paying attention or loses control of their car due to alcohol or drug intoxication

If you sustained injuries in one of these types of car accidents, you have essential legal options available. Your lawyer can determine if you are eligible to file a claim or a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for the monetary compensation you deserve.

If so, your lawyer can handle every step of the process, including gathering documents, filing a claim with the appropriate insurance company, and, if necessary, filing a lawsuit in the appropriate court on your behalf.

Common Reasons for Local Car Crashes

Local car accidents are usually the result of another driver’s reckless behaviour. One common reason car accidents happen is that drivers routinely violate standard traffic laws in Alberta. When drivers take chances and violate these traffic laws, they are more likely to cause a car crash than drivers who drive carefully.

Some of the most common road-rule violations that lead to severe traffic accidents include:

  • Failing to use backup cameras, lane change warnings, and other technological devices that are present in vehicles
  • Failing to use rearview and side view mirrors in traffic and while backing out of parking spaces
  • Exceeding the speed limit, especially during busy traffic conditions or in adverse weather conditions
  • Failing to use turn signals when making a lane change or turning onto a different road
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles, especially at traffic intersections where a driver runs a red traffic light, yield sign, or stop sign.

In addition to violating traffic laws, drivers may cause serious traffic accidents when they engage in aggressive driving or road rage. A driver exhibits the characteristics of road rage when they drive overzealously.

For example, an aggressive driver might:

  • Tailgate other vehicles
  • Aggressively weave around traffic
  • Cutother vehicles off in traffic, such as near a highway merge lane
  • Fail to use turn signals before making a lane change in heavy traffic.

Aggressive drivers may also honk their horns and become frustrated when other drivers do not drive fast enough. However, when drivers exhibit road rage, they may bring about a single crash or a series of crashes leading to a multi-vehicle pile-up.

Additionally, some motor vehicle accidents happen when people drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When it comes to alcohol, a driver is legally, or per se, intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that meets or exceeds 0.08 percent. Unlike most drivers, commercial drivers and drivers under twenty-one years old must follow much more stringent legal standards.

DUI is extremely dangerous and can result in both criminal and civil penalties. Specifically, an intoxicated driver may be unable to control their vehicle appropriately and may experience delayed reflexes and reaction time that prevent them from stopping their vehicle quickly. In addition, intoxicated drivers may experience nausea, blurred vision, dizziness, and other physical symptoms, all of which may prevent them from driving safely and within the standard of care.

Finally, many car crashes happen when drivers become distracted while on the road. Many electronic devices in vehicles, including stereo systems, tablets, cellular phones, and other devices, compete for a driver’s attention.

Watching the road is a driver’s top priority. However, they can easily lose focus on the road if they are answering text messages or emails or making phone calls without using a hands-free Bluetooth device. Consequently, they might fail to observe an approaching pedestrian or vehicle and bring about a serious crash.

Loud music or roughhousing with vehicle passengers may also distract drivers. All these activities can take a driver’s eyes off the road and prevent them from driving safely.

If you recently suffered injuries in a motor vehicle crash resulting from another driver’s reckless or careless behaviour, you need to seek out experienced legal counsel immediately. Your lawyer can review your accident with you, determine your legal options, and advise on the best course of action to pursue in your personal injury case.

Injuries in Car Accidents

The injuries that a car accident victim ultimately suffers will depend upon several factors, including the specific accident circumstances, their bodily movements inside the vehicle at the time of the accident, and the specific body parts affected. The driver’s position in the vehicle — whether the individual is seated in the front or the rear — may also affect the injuries they ultimately suffer.

Some motor vehicle accidents are so violent that the accident victim’s body strikes something in the vehicle interior, such as the headrest, steering wheel, window, or other vehicle part, leading to serious injuries.

Some of the most common injuries that car crash victims suffer in an accident scenario include internal organ injuries, mouth and teeth injuries, eye injuries, soft tissue neck and back contusions, spinal cord damage, complete and incomplete paralysis injuries, traumatic brain injuries, open lacerations, bruises, shoulder injuries, knee injuries, and death.

If you or a loved one suffered one or more of these injuries in a motor vehicle crash stemming from negligence, you should follow through with your medical treatment regimen completely and undergo all the treatment you need to get better.

For example, you might need to consult with a primary care doctor or specialist, attend physical therapy appointments, or undergo surgery on one or more parts of your body.

Refrain from discharging yourself from medical treatment until a medical provider formally discharges you from care. That way, the insurance company cannot say you failed to comply with your treatment regimen.

While you focus on completing your medical treatment and making a full recovery from your car accident injuries, your lawyer can begin gathering medical records and other documents and preparing a settlement demand package on your behalf.

After you complete your medical treatment, your lawyer can submit those documents to the insurance company and begin negotiating the favourable settlement compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Filing a Car Accident Claim

If your injuries resulted from a car crash that was another driver’s fault, your lawyer will typically file a personal injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company.

The insurance company has absolutely no incentive to offer you favourable compensation for your injuries. Instead, the insurance company wants to save as much money as possible and refrain from paying you the full monetary recovery you deserve.

Additionally, if you don’t hire legal counsel during settlement negotiations, insurance company representatives will take advantage of you. Therefore, hire a skilled lawyer to represent you as early as possible in your case.

Your lawyer can gather the necessary documents to prove your personal injury claim and negotiate with insurance company representatives on your behalf. If the insurance company will not compensate you fairly, then you can file a lawsuit in court. At that point, the litigation phase of your case will begin, and your lawyer can manage every step of that process.


Personal Injury Litigation Following a Car Crash

Once your lawyer files a lawsuit in the court system, litigation can begin in your personal injury case. After filing suit, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will retain legal counsel through their insurance company. The defence lawyer will then file a formal answer to the lawsuit, and the parties will start discovery.

During the discovery stage of personal injury litigation, the parties will typically:

  • Answer one another’s written questions, called interrogatories
  • Exchange relevant documents, including medical treatment records, photographs of the collision scene, property damage photographs, lost-wage documentation, and injury photographs
  • Take one another’s depositions
  • Take depositions of medical providers and witnesses to the car crash
  • Take expert depositions 
  • Attend one or more settlement conferences in court.

The majority of personal injury lawsuits settle at some point along the way. This is because taking a case to a civil jury trial or ADR proceeding can be stressful and costly for everyone involved.

An accident victim can settle their case all the way up to the time of trial. However, if the case is still unresolved, the parties may present their case in front of a jury. During a trial, your lawyer can introduce evidence on your behalf, call witnesses to testify, and make closing arguments in your case. The jury will then decide the amount of monetary compensation to award you for your accident-related injuries.

Instead of taking your case to a civil jury trial, your lawyer can agree with the insurance company to pursue ADR. For example, at a mediation session, the parties meet with a neutral mediator who helps them resolve issues that are then in dispute.

At binding arbitration, on the other hand, the parties present their case to a neutral arbitrator just as they would in court. The arbitrator then decides the amount of monetary compensation to award the injured accident victim.

Your lawyer can advise whether litigation is right for your case. If you decide to pursue litigation, your lawyer can further advise you about whether to pursue ADR options or take your case to a civil jury trial.

Monetary Damages in a Car Accident Claim or Lawsuit

The monetary damages that an accident victim may recover in their car accident claim or loss will depend upon several factors, including the circumstances surrounding their accident, the nature and extent of their bodily injuries, the extent of their lost income, and other accident-related factors.

Common damages that car crash victims may recover include lost income, loss of earning capacity, physical pain and suffering, mental trauma, loss of the ability to use a body part, loss of life enjoyment, permanent disability or disfigurement, and loss of spousal consortium.

Michael Hoosein, Lawyer for Car Accident
Michael Hoosein, Car Accident Attorney

Your lawyer will do everything possible to maximize these damages and guide you to make important legal decisions throughout your pending case.

Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you recently sustained injuries in a car crash, a good car accident lawyer can be an invaluable asset. Your car accident lawyer can handle every step of the claims-filing and litigation processes and work to secure a favourable monetary result on your behalf.


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