Before you begin a car accident lawsuit, there’s a whole pre-litigation phase to navigate first. What exactly happens during this phase, and why is it so important?
Your Greenville car wreck attorney works to secure a settlement during pre-litigation. However, if initial offers are unsatisfactory, your lawyer may fight your case in court.
If your attorney believes you have a strong case, they will send a letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company stating that they now represent you. This letter will also request the defendant’s insurance policy details, like limits and coverage. From now on, the insurance company will communicate directly with your attorney.
Your attorney will collect police reports, medical records, witness statements, photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage reports, and anything else relevant to build your case. They will review all the details to determine fault, gauge the severity of your injuries, and calculate a potential settlement amount.
During this process, be prepared for your attorney to schedule follow-up meetings or calls to clarify details and ask additional questions. They may even have you meet with medical experts to fully understand the impact of your injuries. Providing as much information and cooperation as possible will only help strengthen your claim.
Once the initial notice has been sent, your attorney begins investigating your Greenville car accident case. This phase is critical, as it establishes the foundation for your claim. Your attorney gathers evidence like:
- Your medical records and bills
- Witness statements
- The police report
- Photos of the accident scene
The investigation aims to reconstruct what happened. Your attorney uses the evidence to build a compelling case proving negligence and liability.
With enough evidence gathered, your attorney may send a demand letter to the defendant’s insurance company. This letter outlines the specifics of your injuries and damages and requests a settlement in order to avoid going to court. If the insurance company is negotiating in good faith, a demand letter can be an effective tool.
The insurance company will review the demand letter and evidence and then make a counteroffer. At this point, negotiation begins. Your attorney will work to get you the maximum settlement, while the insurance company will aim for the lowest payout. With some back-and-forth, a fair settlement amount may be reached.
If an agreeable amount can’t be negotiated, litigation becomes necessary. Lawsuits often end up costing more for both parties, so insurance companies usually prefer to settle when possible. However, if they don’t believe they are fully liable or that your demand amount is unreasonable, they may deny the claim altogether.
If the insurance company agrees to a fair settlement amount, the claim is resolved. Your Greenville car accident attorney will explain the offer to you and provide their recommendation on whether to accept it based on the details of your case. If you agree to the terms, the settlement is finalized.
However, the insurance company may refuse to budge from an unjustly low offer. When this happens, your attorney has the option to file a lawsuit to pursue the full compensation you deserve.
During negotiations, your attorney acts as your advocate. They will counter unreasonable offers from the insurance company and work to get you the maximum settlement based on factors like:
- The severity and permanence of your injuries
- Medical expenses and bills
- Lost wages from missed work
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage (if applicable)
The pre-litigation phase can last anywhere from a few months up to over a year. Although it requires patience, settling your claim before going to court is typically in your best interest. Your attorney will guide you through each step of the process to ensure you receive fair compensation.
Get Help With Your Greenville Car Accident Claim
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you probably have a lot of questions about what comes next. Our Greenville accident attorneys are here to help you navigate this process.
To learn more about your legal options after an accident, call Brumback & Langley today at (864) 310-7897. We offer free initial consultations and do not collect fees unless we win your case.