Stages Of A Motor Vehicle Accident Case

You or a loved one has been in a car or truck accident. You're seriously — maybe even catastrophically — hurt, possibly unable to work, and facing a mountain of medical costs and bills. Now what? What options are available when serious injury or death is the result of someone else's negligence behind the wheel?

In Illinois, victims of a motor vehicle accident — and their families — can take legal action against those who were responsible for causing the injury or death. As an accident victim, you may be entitled to compensation to reimburse you for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical costs, and emotional distress. An experienced, passionate personal injury law firm can help you recover this compensation.

Experienced Negotiators And Litigators

At Hantla & Hantla, LTD., we have over 50 years of experience negotiating and litigating serious personal injury and car and truck accident cases. We provide our clients exceptional legal guidance and deliver straightforward, practical advice that delivers results.

Pursuing legal action against a wrongdoer can be a complicated, lengthy process — but also deeply rewarding. With our insider knowledge, we can help guide you through all the steps of the process — answering all your questions, addressing all your concerns and providing solid legal advice along the way.

What To Expect In A Car Accident Case

A typical car or truck accident case often conforms to a standard progression, which usually includes the following stages:

  1. Initial consultation — During your first meeting, we will listen to what happened, review any documents or photographs you may have, and determine whether you have a solid claim against the person or entity that caused the accident.
  2. Developing the case — Once you are our client, we thoroughly research and investigate your case to obtain all the information we need to develop a strategy for how we can obtain compensation for your injuries.
  3. Filing the complaint To initiate the legal process, a complaint must be filed in the appropriate court. The complaint must satisfy certain technical requirements, be filed in a timely manner, state a valid legal claim and seek an award of damages. Our attorneys will make sure all these details are taken care of for you.
  4. Fact finding and discovery After the complaint has been filed and the defendants have filed their answer, formal fact finding will commence between the parties. This usually includes the taking of depositions — formal, under-oath interviews — and the exchange of documents between the parties.
  5. Pretrial motions — Pretrial motions — which are requests filed with a court that seek a legal ruling on a particular matter in the case — can resolve many important issues in a lawsuit. These motions can end the litigation, compel a party to undertake particular action or seek rulings on whether particular pieces of evidence can be used at trial.
  6. Negotiation and settlement discussions Many cases get resolved before going to trial. Sometimes this is through a pretrial motion, while other times it's through negotiation and settlement discussions. Often these discussions are with the defendant's insurance company. As your lawyers, we can advocate for a settlement that covers all of your expenses and damages — and reject any offer that falls short of that goal.
  7. Trial — If your case doesn't settle, we will proceed to trial where witnesses and evidence will be presented to a judge or jury — and they will determine whether or not you should receive an award of damages for your injuries. Specific rules of evidence must be followed at trial, and our attorneys can help convince the court or jury to return a verdict in your favor.
  8. Collecting on a judgment When a judge or jury decides a case, a verdict will be rendered. The verdict will say whether the defendant was responsible or not and indicate how much they have to pay. If the money is not paid over to you right away, you may need to take steps — with our help — to collect the money you were awarded.
  9. Appealing a ruling or decision If the judge or jury made a bad decision — or the judge decided an issue incorrectly during a pretrial motion hearing — it can be appealed to a higher court for review. Appeals generally focus on whether legal mistakes were made — not whether mistakes were made in interpreting the facts.

A motor vehicle case can be lengthy, time-consuming and emotionally draining — but we're here to guide you through the entire process. Our lawyers are strong advocates with a deep desire to help those who have been injured through no fault of their own.

To learn more about what you can expect in your particular case, contact Hantla & Hantla, LTD., for a free initial consultation. Call our office in Litchfield at 618-623-0154 or 217-324-6136 or complete our online contact form to get started today.