Auto accidents, like other types of personal injury cases, follow a timeline that consists of specific steps. Some steps will require more time than others to complete. Since victims often face costly expenses after an accident, it’s a good idea for victims to understand what to expect before filing an accident claim.
The Accident Takes Place
In any kind of accident case, the moment the accident occurs will be the time the case starts. Following an auto accident that results in injuries, victims will only have a certain amount of time to file a claim or lawsuit to seek compensation. This window of time is known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations will vary depending on where the accident took place.
In Illinois, injury victims have two years to file a lawsuit following a car accident. Failing to file within that amount of time could prevent victims from receiving compensation for their losses.
Seeking Treatment for Injuries
People who are injured in an auto accident should seek treatment as soon as possible to assess and treat injuries. Apart from helping the recovery process and detecting injuries early on, seeking treatment may help support a claim by providing proof of the injury in the form of medical records and bills.
Depending on the extent of injuries, treatment may also take as little as a day or as long as months through several appointments and a prescribed care plan.
Consulting with an Accident Lawyer
When getting ready to file a claim or a lawsuit against negligent parties, consulting with an accident attorney can help victims learn about available options. An experienced attorney will be able to evaluate a case and help gauge the amount of damages recoverable. He or she may also help with the filing process and provide legal representation throughout a case.
Filing Claims or Lawsuits
The next step is to file a claim against the responsible party or insurer. This entails proving negligence and injuries and negotiating a settlement. Most cases don’t go beyond the claims process before reaching a favorable settlement for the victim. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, lawsuits may be filed and the case may go to trial. If the case goes to court, it could take months to obtain a settlement.