Car accidents can be traumatic and life-changing event. Even if you were fortunate enough to walk away with just a few scratches, the aftermath can still be overwhelming. 

You may be left with a damaged vehicle, medical bills, and lost wages, all while trying to recover from your injuries. And to make matters worse, dealing with insurance companies and the legal system can be a confusing and frustrating experience. 

So, if you’re wondering whether or not you’ll have to file a lawsuit in your car accident case, you’re not alone. In this blog, we’ll explore the factors that may lead to a lawsuit and what you can do to protect yourself and your rights. 

When is a Lawsuit Necessary After a Car Accident?

Knowing when it’s necessary to file a lawsuit is important for anyone involved in an accident. Here are some scenarios in which filing a lawsuit might be your only option for resolution:

  • The insurance company denies your claim or offers a low settlement amount that doesn’t cover your damages.
  • You’ve suffered severe injuries that require ongoing medical treatment or will have long-term effects on your quality of life.
  • The other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or was engaged in reckless or criminal behavior.
  • The accident resulted in the death of a loved one, and you’re seeking compensation for wrongful death.
  • You’re facing mounting medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses that are causing financial hardship.

Ultimately, suing over a car accident should never be taken lightly as it requires extensive research into both your own situation and state laws surrounding personal injury claims. 

What Are the Legal Requirements for Filing a Lawsuit?

Filing a lawsuit can be intimidating, and it’s important to know what you’re getting into before taking the leap. 

The legal requirements for filing a lawsuit are complex and vary from state to state, but generally speaking, the following conditions must be met: 

  • There must be sufficient evidence of fault or negligence by one party over another 
  • There must be enough damages incurred through injury or property damage to warrant suing
  • The lawsuit must be filed within the state’s statute of limitations (typically 1-3 yrs)

Having this information will help give you more confidence moving forward with such a difficult decision. 

Who is Involved in a Car Accident Lawsuit?

When you file a car accident lawsuit, several parties are involved in the legal process. 

Here are some key players:

  • Plaintiff: The person who brings the lawsuit and is seeking compensation for their damages. In a car accident case, the plaintiff is typically the victim of the accident.
  • Defendant: The person or entity being sued. In a car accident case, the defendant is typically the driver who caused the accident.
  • Insurance company: The defendant’s insurance company will likely be involved in the case, as they will be responsible for providing a defense and potentially paying out any damages awarded in the lawsuit.
  • Personal injury attorney: The plaintiff typically hires a personal injury attorney to represent them in the lawsuit. The attorney will handle all aspects of the case, from gathering evidence to negotiating with the insurance company.
  • Expert witnesses: Depending on the circumstances of the case, expert witnesses may be called upon to provide testimony. For example, an accident reconstruction expert may be used to determine how the accident occurred.
  • Jury: If the case goes to trial, a jury will be selected to hear the evidence and decide the case’s outcome.
  • Judge: The judge presides over the trial and ensures the legal procedures are followed.

It’s important to note that not all car accident cases will go to trial. Many cases are settled out of court through negotiation between the plaintiff’s attorney and the insurance company. However, having an experienced attorney on your side can help ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages, whether through settlement or suing.

What Are the Possible Outcomes of a Car Accident Lawsuit?

The possible outcomes in a car accident lawsuit vary depending on the case. Generally speaking, it is likely that a settlement will be reached between the parties involved to avoid going to court. The car accident settlement can include various financial compensation for medical expenses, property damage, and other losses incurred by either party due to the accident.

If no agreement is concluded or one or both parties do not accept the proposed settlement amount, it may become necessary to have the dispute heard in court. In this situation, a judge or jury will decide who is liable for damages and how much each party must pay out. 

What Are the Costs Associated With Filing a Lawsuit in a Car Accident Case?

The cost of filing a lawsuit in a car accident case will vary depending on the complexity of the claim and any additional legal services needed to successfully pursue it. 

Some common costs include: 

  • Expert witness fees
  • Administrative costs
  • Court filing fees
  • Attorney fees (usually paid on contingency)
  • Investigative and discovery costs
  • Medical record retrieval fees
  • Travel expenses
  • Deposition costs

You should weigh all options carefully when deciding what course of action is best for your specific situation. 

What Are the Steps Involved in Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Filing a lawsuit after being involved in one of these accidents can be overwhelming. 

Fortunately, the first step is getting help. A personal injury lawyer will jumpstart the process for you so that you don’t have to worry about navigating these tricky waters on your own.

Here’s what you can expect: 

  1. Hire a personal injury lawyer
  2. Investigation and evidence gathering: Your attorney will investigate the accident and gather evidence to build a strong case.
  3. Filing a demand letter: Your attorney may send a demand letter to the defendant’s insurance company, outlining your damages and requesting a settlement.
  4. Filing the complaint: If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will file a complaint with the court, outlining the details of the accident and the damages you are seeking. This officially starts the lawsuit.
  5. The defendant must be served with a copy of the complaint and a summons, which notifies them of the lawsuit and gives them a deadline to respond.
  6. Discovery: Your attorney and the defendant’s insurance company will engage in the process of discovery, where they exchange information and evidence related to the case. 
  7. Settlement negotiations: Your attorney and the insurance company may negotiate a settlement at any point during the process.
  8. Pre-trial motions: Your attorney may file pre-trial motions to resolve certain issues before the trial, such as a motion to dismiss or a motion for summary judgment.
  9. Trial: If the case does not settle, it will go to trial. Your attorney will present evidence and arguments to a judge and/or jury, who will decide the outcome of the case.
  10. Appeals: If either party is unhappy with the outcome of the trial, they may file an appeal with a higher court.

Ultimately, the best way to ensure you have a strong case for a lawsuit or get help deciding whether you should pursue one is by working with an experienced car accident attorney. 

Contact our team at today to get started building your case.


Justice McDaniel is an experienced copywriter and blogger. She has over three years of experience providing outstanding legal content that ranks.