Albuquerque Car Accident Attorneys Discuss Legal Action in Automobile Accident
Car accidents occur more often than they should seek and if you’ve been in even a minor fender-bender you know that they can be a headache. When your car accident is more severe – your vehicle has been totaled or you obtained some manner of injury – the situation is harder to resolve. Albuquerque car accident attorneys can help you discover your options if you are considering litigation.
Mediation and Arbitration
After initial negotiations with the other party’s insurance company, meeting with a mediator or arbitrator, rather than initiating litigation, can often lead to a successful resolution. A mediator encourages each side to come to an agreement, but does not have the authority to make a final decision. Arbitration involves the review of evidence by an arbitrator who will decide the case based on that evidence. For either to take place, both parties must agree.
The State Insurance Department
If you feel that the opposition’s insurer is behaving unjustly, you have the right to submit a complaint. The State Insurance Department in your state regulates and licenses insurance companies, and may be able to exercise its authority to encourage the insurer to treat the case properly.
When Legal Action Becomes Necessary
The legal system has several levels. Your case may be handled in either small claims or civil court depending upon the size of the case and the amounts of money involved.
- Small Claims: These courts try cases concerning small amounts of money. You need not engage a lawyer. The procedures are less complex than in civil court, and the trial dates comes fairly quickly. Normally, small claims courts handle claims less than $5,000. You will need to contact your local small claims court in order to know what the limits are in your state.
- Civil Court: This is for larger cases. Trials are held according to formal procedural rules and you should engage legal counsel. Pretrial proceedings begin once the case has been filed. This is when evidence is gathered and exchanged between the parties involved. This segment of the procedure is called “discovery.” Trial begins once discovery has ended, and the verdict may be appealed in some cases.
Pleading Your Own Case
You have the right to plead your own case in court, but it is not always advisable. While small claims courts are designed to offer that option, civil courts are governed by complex legal procedures that are best understood by those trained in them. Further, the opposition is almost certain to have engaged counsel. If you are to keep the playing field level, you will need skilled representation.
Choosing Legal Counsel
You should select a legal firm with direct experience in the type of case you are pursuing. In case of a car accident, seek Albuquerque car accident attorneys who focus on personal injury claims and, to that effect, have had specific success with auto accident cases.
The Costs of Legal Representation
Most legal firms are paid on “contingency.” This means that they are paid a percentage of the settlement that they win for you. Unless they win, there is no payment. There may be court costs or other expenses, but there are no legal fees if the case is lost. Given that, if a car accident lawyer takes your case, it’s because he or she believes it is winnable.
Be sure you fully understand your options. Contact the Attorneys at Khayoumi Law Firm, your Albuquerque car accident attorneys, by calling (505) 333-8613 today.