Every day, reckless and distracted driving result in car accidents, leaving victims with physical and emotional injuries that can takes weeks, months, or years to heal from. Victims often suffer from a myriad of problems resulting from the accident, including loss of a loved one, time away from work, inability to return to work, costly medical care and physical therapy, expenses relating to vehicle damage and damage to items that were in the vehicle at the time, and sometimes even personal problems like divorce resulting from the turmoil an accident can put on a victim and his or her family.
Thousands of car accident victims win civil lawsuits every year, recouping the funds they’ve lost – often including payment for the non-economic problems – as a result of a car accident that was the fault of another driver.
The Civil Suit Process
Many of our clients’ first question is, “What’s the process?” The more you know going into the process, the easier it is to prepare yourself mentally and physically for what’s to come.
Here’s how most civil suits progress. This process is often called the 7 steps in a civil suit:
- The attorney and plaintiff (the person who has been injured or harmed) files a complaint, detailing the injury and asking for damages. The complaint describes why the injured party believes the defendant is responsible for his or her injury.
- A summons is issued to the defendant, or the person allegedly responsible for the injury. The summons tells the defendant that he or she is subject of a lawsuit and includes a copy of the original complaint.
- The defendant (either alone or with an attorney, although working with an attorney is advised) responds to the complaint, providing facts and evidence to support his or her case.
- Either side can review this document and make requests to the court based on the evidence. This is also a common time for attorneys to meet and settle out of court rather than moving forward with the lawsuit.
- If the suit moves forward, discovery occurs next in the process. During this stage, those who have information about the accident are interviewed and asked to bring forward any relevant information. The parties exchange information and evidence.
- The case goes to trial and a judge or jury decide whether the defendant should pay the plaintiff and, if so, how much should be paid.
- The losing party has the opportunity to file an appeal if they don’t believe the outcome was legal.
Statute of Limitations
The law puts into place a statute of limitations for different kinds of civil suits. This means that if you’re the victim of a crime, you have a certain amount of time to bring a civil suit. Once that deadline has passed, you may no longer be able to prevail in a lawsuit against the person who is responsible for your harm or injury.
In Arkansas, the statue of limitations for personal injury resulting from a car accident is three years. If you’ve been in a car accident and suffered injuries as a result, contact a personal injury attorney right away to ensure you bring your complaint within the statute of limitations and get the payment you deserve for your suffering.
Determining Your Settlement after a Car Accident
Alan LeVar can help you determine how much you can expect to receive after suffering injuries in a car accident. The calculation takes into consideration:
- The extent of your injuries
- The amount of income you lost due to time away from work
- The amount of money you would have earned if you are unable to return to work again
- The cost of the medical care you received including ambulance rides, doctor’s visits, surgeries, hospital stays, and therapy after your injury
- The nature and duration of your injuries and any pain and suffering, or mental anguish experienced
To take the first step toward getting your life back after a car accident injury, contact the Law Offices of Alan LeVar in Little Rock, Arkansas, at 888-220-7068 today.