Car wrecks can result in personal injury claims that can be settled either in and out of court. Many times, several claims can be settled between both parties even before a lawsuit is filed. However, each case is unique, and how the claim proceeds will depend on the specifics of the case.
Below is an average timeline to expect to see when having an auto wreck claim in the state of Alabama, as well as the statute of limitations for personal injury claims.
Statute of Limitations
In Alabama, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 2 years from the date of the car wreck. A person has until this period to file a claim in court. The clock tends to start from the date of the wreck or injury. After this period has passed, you lose your chance to claim any injuries in court and to ask the court to award compensation for your injury. There are extremely few exceptions to this rule.
First Step: Car Wreck
The first part of the timeline is the car accident. Two drivers have a car wreck and now either one or both of them have suffered injuries. Both will likely seek medical attention for their injuries and one or both may need surgery or physical therapy to recover from their injuries. Both drivers will likely set up a claim with their insurance companies and local police enforcement will create a report of the car wreck.
Second Step: Consultation
Most likely, one or both drivers will seek an auto accident lawyer to recover damages due to the wreck. They will likely place blame on each other for the wreck and seek monetary damages for medical bills, vehicle repairs, and lost wages. At this time, one or both drivers will secure a personal injury attorney. Should a settlement not come about, a lawsuit will likely be filed as the next step in the timeline.
Third Step: Settlement
At the settlement point, the insurance carrier of the driver in question will be contacted and a request for a settlement for their client’s damages will be created. A settlement can be done formally or informally through letters or over the phone. Once the settlement request is successful, then a settlement agreement is drafted and signed by both parties, including the lawyers and insurance companies. Should the settlement phase go unsuccessful, then a lawsuit is likely filed, and the case moves to civil court.
Fourth Step: Civil Court
Documents will be filed by both drivers through the courts and the court process will proceed while settlement negotiations are still underway. If necessary, dispute resolutions such as mediation can be used to make an agreement. Though most auto accident lawsuits are usually resolved through settlement, at times, a civil trial may be required. This results in the normal trial process, wherein a jury decides if the alleged driver is liable and if damages should be awarded.
We at the Bryant Law Firm, LLC, passionately fight for injured Alabamians and constantly put our clients' wellbeing first. If you have suffered an injury due to a car wreck, call (205) 267-8561 to schedule a free consultation.