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The unfortunate reality of driving any automobile is that you will most likely be involved in an accident in one way or another. Over the course of a driving lifetime, statistically you can expect to get in an accident a total of 3 to 4 times. You may be operating the vehicle yourself, or you may be with a loved one when it occurs, so think about the plan of action ahead of time.

Automobile Accident Litigation

There are people who have extensively trained and prepared to help those in need following an automobile accident. Paul Hammack of Hammack Law Firm has been fighting for justice in the wake of personal injury following automobile accidents for over 18 years. After working with Insurance companies for years, he’s now the head of his own law firm that caters to representing people who have been seriously injured in these forms of accidents.

Hammack Law Firm also understands the unique problems that may arise from being involved in a motorcycle accident. The false but popular assumption of motorcycle accidents is that the accidents are almost always caused by the motorcycle rider. This is not true, most accidents actually occur as a result of the negligence or indifference of those driving cars. These types of auto accidents are especially important to Hammack Law Firm because of two reasons. The first being that motorcycle accidents are generally catastrophic; the scarcity of protection afforded to the rider results in permanent injuries that other automobile accidents don’t usually accrue. Secondly, Paul Hammack was once involved in a motorcycle accident himself, and has since dedicated his law practice to ensuring that those who have suffered similar injuries get the legal protection and representation that everyone deserves.

What are the common causes of Automobile Accidents?

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving Texting while driving Talking on a phone while driving Checking social media while driving
  • Failure to use turn signals
  • Failure to look before changing lanes or making turns
  • Falling asleep at the wheel
  • Driving under the influence of Alcohol Marijuana Other narcotics
  • Aggressive or reckless driving
  • Running red lights
  • Failure to stop at stop signs
  • Failure to modify one’s driving to the weather and or road conditions
  • Operating an improperly maintained vehicle
  • Violating the rules of the road

There are also specific causes for motorcycle accidents. These may include:

  • Riding skills of the motorcycle operator
  • Visual recognition by other vehicles on the road
  • Road hazards
  • High-speed risks

If any of these factors have caused you or a loved one personal injury during an automobile accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Here are the steps towards attaining it.

Steps toward compensation: Settlement

Auto accident claims can be settled before they even go to court but it’s no easy task. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons to reaching a settlement before trial. Some of the advantages of this option are:

  • You may be able to receive compensation faster
  • You can avoid higher litigation expenses that may accrue during the process
  • Avoidance of multiple court appearances including depositions, hearings and the actual trial
  • Avoidance of an unpredictable jury decision

The key to reaching a settlement before trial is drafting a professional comprehensive demand letter. A demand letter is a written document that requests money damages for a legal claim. Although settling before trial may save fees down the line it is a precarious form of action because the drafting of a demand letter must be extensive and incredibly precise. You must cite and document medical treatments and even your employment records. Drafting a demand letter can be tiresome and if done incorrectly will result in a loss of compensation. That’s why it is best to leave it to the professionals and seek legal counsel for your automobile related injury.

Steps toward compensation: Filing the Car Accident Injuries Lawsuit

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The first step in automobile accident litigation is filing a civil lawsuit for your personal injury. Each state has different time frames for when an automobile accident lawsuit can be filed so its important to check when your statue or limitations expires before seeking legal counsel. Your claim will set out the compensation you require and may also include the legal theory that justifies this. Once the lawsuit has been filed, the defendant (the one you’re suing) and their legal team have a certain amount of time to respond to it; they may either accept, deny or counter your claim.

Step towards compensation: Preliminary Motions

Before the trail date can be set, the defendant may call a number of possible motions to disrupt the legal proceedings. These include:

  • Motion for change of venue
  • Motion for a change of judge
  • Motion for removal This moves your case from local to federal court
  • Motion to dismiss Challenges the claim that your case was presented in a timely manner

If these motions are not brought up or are ignored by the judge, you move on to the next phase.

Steps towards compensation: Pre-Trial Practice

After the trial date is set, the judge will likely order both parties to attend mediation. Mediation is when the attorneys for both the plaintiff and the defendant attempt to settle the case with the assistance of a neutral, third party moderator.

Steps toward compensation: Discovery

During the intermediary period before the trial, the attorneys for both parties involved begin researching the case and gathering evidence for the trial. The evidence may include automobile maintenance history, medical records, and interviews with those involved or possible witnesses to the accident. Staples of this discovery period include the party depositions andobtaining witness testimony that will be used as evidence during the trial.

Steps toward compensation: Post-Discovery Resolutions

If you and your attorney believe that the evidence gathered during the discovery period is compelling and overwhelmingly in your favor you have the right to request a motion for summary judgment. This is essentially a legal short cut. In this motion, a party presents the evidence to the judge and asks them to deliver a ruling before actually going to trial. If there is no disputation of facts from the other side, the case can be decided.

Steps toward compensation: The Trial

The day everyone has been waiting for - the case goes to court. One drawback of a jury trial is that it often takes years before the case is tried. The addition of new evidence may also alter or prolong the the jury verdict. The judge determines which laws apply to the case while the jury decides whether or not the facts and evidence you presented applies to that law. Although the trial usually is the end of automobile accident litigation process, each party may appeal the ruling. During this time the defendant may reach out at any point and request a settlement.

If you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury as a result of an automobile accident, get the compensation you deserve. Don’t settle for an attorney that may treat you like a number. Paul Hammack knows how insurance companies make decisions about auto accident and motorcycle accident claims. Hammack Law Firm has the experience to get you what you deserve. Take the next steps and contact Hammack Law Firm (864)-326-3333 to schedule a free consultation today!

Cathy Carter