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Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit: When Is This Necessary?

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After a car crash, injured victims may usually wonder whether or not they must file a lawsuit to receive compensation for their injuries and damages. Although a lawsuit may lead to a favorable outcome for victims, the latter must take into account some factors before they take their claim to court. It is important to speak with a houston car accident attorney to discuss all possible legal options to help a victim make a decision. 

Seeking Injury Compensation: How the Process Works

Personal injury cases are different, the claim filing process is generally the same. Following a car accident, the injured victim must report the accident, seek medical attention, and file an injury claim with the insurance company of the at-fault party. After filing a claim and the injury of the victim has stabilized, their lawyer must draft a demand letter. This letter should mention the nature of the claim and demand that the liable party should pay damages. When the insurance company receives the letter, they can either refuse or pay the demand. 

In general, the insurance company will refuse to pay or meet the initial demand. It will usually make a counteroffer that’s below the claim’s true value. When the victim gets a lowball offer from the company, they can respond to it with another demand, hoping to negotiate a reasonable recovery. Both parties may continue to negotiate until they reach an agreement. When a settlement is finalized, it won’t be possible for the victim to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This is the reason they must have an attorney helping them fight for true value of their claim during the negotiation process. 

Understanding All Options

Settlement negotiations are not always successful because insurance companies may refuse to pay the amount demanded or deny liability altogether. In this case, the victim may decide to file a lawsuit to hopefully get compensated for their damages. 

But, before considering a lawsuit, the parties can still consider mediation. In this process, an objective third party will analyze the case and help both parties reach an agreement. In some instances, mediation may be ordered by a judge before trying the case in court. 

In addition, the process called arbitration is also another option to resolve disputes between parties involved in a car accident. A judge or jury will serve as the arbitrator. Other options might also be available to victims and a skilled lawyer can explain these to them. 

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