What Are the Steps in an Atlanta Car Accident Lawsuit?

car accident lawsuit

Not every car accident lawsuit will end up in litigation. Most times, car accident victims prefer to settle out of court rather than go to trial. However, there are instances where a case cannot help but go to court. One such instance is when the victim and the fault party’s insurance carrier fail to agree on a settlement sum.

Another is when the victim suffers severe injuries, or the defendant denies responsibility. If your car accident case goes to trial, you need to know the steps involved to prepare effectively. It is always best to work with an Atlanta car accident lawyer when filing a lawsuit for personal injury.

Steps Involved in a Car Accident Lawsuit

Although every car accident case is unique and decided on its merits, they all go through the same process. Below, our auto accident lawyers discuss the steps involved in a car accident lawsuit.

Hiring an Attorney 

For you to file a car accident lawsuit, it means you suffered an injury caused by the fault party (defendant). There is no case if you cannot prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, breached the duty, caused your injuries, and you suffered damages as a result. The preceding are known as the four elements of negligence.

On your own, you might be unable to prove the four elements during the trial. This is why you need to hire an attorney. The best time to get a lawyer involved in your case is after you suffered the injury. This way, the lawyer will sit through the negotiations with the insurance adjuster and file a lawsuit immediately after they fail to agree.

Furthermore, insurance companies can drag out negotiations knowing fully well that a Statute of Limitations exists. Alone, you might keep negotiating until time lapses, and you become statute-barred from filing a lawsuit. An Atlanta car accident lawyer knows the time stipulated by law and will commence your action on time.

Filing a Complaint and Serving the Defendant

Once you have a lawyer working for you, the next thing is filing a complaint and effecting service on the defendant. Your attorney will file a personal injury complaint with either the State Court of Fulton County or the Superior Court of Fulton County. Both courts have unlimited jurisdiction to hear civil cases.

In the complaint, your lawyer will spell out the harm caused by the defendant and the damages you want. After filing, the court clerk will serve a copy of the complaint and a summons to the defendant. The summons tells the defendant when they should appear in court.

The Defendant Hires an Attorney and Files a Reply

If the defendant did not have an attorney during the failed negotiation process, they could hire one now. If they don’t, their insurance provider might hire an insurance defense lawyer for them. However, note that a defendant without an asset or an insurance policy may choose to go without an attorney.

If the defendant has an attorney, they will submit the complaint and summons to them. The lawyer will go through it and file a reply or a counterclaim. The latter applies where the defendant alleges different facts and seeks compensation.

Pre-Trial and Discovery of Evidence 

Both the plaintiff and the defendant will ask each other for evidence and witness testimony at this stage. It is known as the “discovery process.” At the early stage, both parties and their lawyers will appear in court and give updates on their progress. Here, they will decide on whether to try mediation or arbitration.

If they reject either of the two options, the case proceeds to deposition. During depositions, both parties and their witnesses will engage in a recorded question-and-answer session under oath. The pre-trial process is quite lengthy and involves mandatory settlement conferences. If the preceding fails, both parties will decide what evidence to allow at trial, select a jury, etc., and then proceed to trial.


This is the final stage of a car accident lawsuit. During the trial, the judge and jury will listen to both parties’ arguments and look at the evidence presented. At the conclusion, the jury will decide if the defendant is at fault for the accident and award damages for your loss. After the judgment, the losing side can appeal the decisions, which can take several months or years.

Contact an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Today!

It is never a good idea to start a car accident lawsuit without an attorney. This is why you should work with an excellent auto accident attorney from The Weinstein Firm. Our lawyers have the required trial experience and will get a favorable judgment. Contact us today for a free case review.

Latest Posts

Motorcycle Accidents vs. Car Crashes: Key Differences and Insights
Motorcycle Lane Splitting: What Atlanta Riders Need to Know
Tractor-Trailer vs. Car: The Severe Impact of Truck Accidents
Compensation for PTSD After an Atlanta Motorcycle Crash
Get the compensation
you deserve $$$

Local Auto Accidents

  • Atlanta
  • Conyers
  • Decatur
  • Kennesaw
  • Lawrenceville
  • Morrow
  • Watkinsville

Cheapest Car Insurance Georgia: 2024 Rates and Companies  MarketWatch [...]

Man arrested in multi-vehicle crash that injures deputy on I-285, Cobb County police say  Atlanta News First [...]

Child, deputy injured in multi-vehicle crash on I-285, Cobb County police say  WSB Atlanta [...]

1 killed in crash on I-285 in DeKalb County  Atlanta News First [...]

2 thrown from vehicle during crash in northeast Atlanta  Atlanta News First [...]

UPDATE: Woman dies after crash with tractor-trailer in Bainbridge  WALB [...]

Decatur resident killed in head-on crash due to reckless driver, police say  WSB Atlanta [...]

1 killed, 1 injured after head-on crash in Decatur, police say  Atlanta News First [...]

Child struck by car in Decatur school zone; residents push for lower speed limit  FOX 5 Atlanta [...]

DeKalb Police investigating deadly hit-and-run on Christmas morning  11Alive.com WXIA [...]

Athens man killed in vehicle vs pedestrian accident on Commerce Road  WGAU [...]

Watkinsville man killed following truck crash on Commerce Road  Online Athens [...]

Truck driver killed, 3 others injured in related traffic accidents, Athens police say  Atlanta News First [...]

Barrow Co. firefighter and son critically injured when their car collides with dump truck  Classic City News [...]

Grandfather killed, 2 grandsons seriously injured in crash on way home from Ga. water park  WSB Atlanta [...]

Georgia State Trooper Killed in I-75 Crash Investigation | iSkyCreations - News & Media  NewsBreak Original [...]

Georgia state trooper dies after being struck by vehicle while investigating crash  The Caledonian-Record [...]

State trooper dies from being hit by a vehicle while investigating a construction worker's interstate death  WNDU [...]

These car insurance providers have the highest market share in each state  News-Daily.com [...]

Lake Wales, FL: Vehicle Accident on Hwy 60 E Causes Entrapment. | iSkyCreations - News & Media  NewsBreak Original [...]

Brady McClintock | Galena Sentinel Times  Sentinel Times [...]

Atlanta man arrested in connection with multi-vehicle pile-up on I-285 in Cobb County  Cobb County Courier [...]

Berea vehicle collision ends in fatality | News | richmondregister.com  Richmond Register [...]

40-year-old deputy dies in head-on crash while responding to call, Georgia troopers say  Miami Herald [...]

Serious Injuries Reported in Kennesaw Car Crash, Baker Road Shut Down for Investigation  Hoodline [...]

Crash closes all lanes, all directions on Grayson Highway in Lawrenceville, police say  Yahoo News [...]

1 killed in crash on Hwy 316 in Gwinnett County  Atlanta News First [...]

One person dead after wreck on GA 316 in Gwinnett County  AccessWDUN [...]

Gwinnett Crash Kills Mom, Son And Motorcyclist; Speed May Be A Factor  Patch [...]

3 killed in crash, including a mother and her 14-year-old son, Gwinnett County police say  Atlanta News First [...]

Man killed in I-20 crash involving tractor-trailer identified  Atlanta News First [...]

Cobb I-20 E Crash Involving Tractor-Trailer Kills Conyers Man  Patch [...]

Weekly Safety Report: Car Crash and Bus Theft in Stone Mountain, Georgia | Georgia Safety Gazette  NewsBreak Original [...]

22-year-old woman dead after car crash in DeKalb County, officials say speeding may have been factor  WSB Atlanta [...]

Morgan Dean Obituary - Hutson Funeral Home - Farmington - 2023  Legacy.com [...]

Free Case Review
Weinstein law firm logo
Let's get started with your FREE consultation