What is the Process of an Auto Accident Lawsuit?

If you lose your spouse in a car accident, or experience pain and suffering/emotional distress from a car accident, you may end up filing a “civil lawsuit.” You’re basically seeking financial compensation for car accident injuries which negatively affected your life and well-being.


First, a complaint (also known as a petition) needs to be filed with the local court in a timely fashion, before the statute of limitations is up. The complaint consists of you–the plaintiff– making allegations that you deserve money from the other driver–the defendant.


What can the response be to this action? A defendant may give you what’s known as an “answer,” where they either admit or deny the allegations. Sometimes they may come against you with counterclaims, trying to show you’re responsible for your own injuries. Or, in some cases, cross-claims can happen, whereas the accident gets blamed on another defendant, if one exists.


Lawsuits can take time, and a defendant can extend the case by asking for a “motion” to change the venue or judge in charge. Or a motion for removal (to move the case from state to federal court) or a motion to dismiss may occur.


A judge could eventually sets a trial date. Before that date, though, he or she may order you into “mediation,” to talk about the case with a third-party mediator, and, perhaps, come to an agreement between the parties.


When mediation doesn’t work, then lawyers end up investigating the facts of the case. Witnesses may be interviewed, documents examined, and answers will be sought for many questions.


Lawyers may employ the use of 4N6XRT Systems’ accident reconstruction software, which helps gather forensic data relating to the accident. 4N6XPRT’s software provides car stiffness values, auto specs, crush data, and more. Lawyers may base their defenses on the results provided by such software.


A “motion for summary judgment” may be made if you and your lawyer believe the evidence will clearly show you’re entitled to compensation. It’s rare that a case is decided at a bench trial, where a judge makes a ruling. Ideally, the defense may offer to just settle the case with you. You get some compensation and the case gets resolved/closed.