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The Timeline of Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit

Statue of Lady Justice

In the days, weeks, and months following an auto accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you are bound to have several questions, especially wondering what comes next? The process can seem complex, but if you have a clear understanding of the timeline, you can make educated decisions to get through the matter in an efficient way.

Of course, you must take steps after an accident to protect your rights, but you also want to know the timeline—including the three years you have to file a lawsuit following the date on which the injury occurred.

Call us today: (228) 231-3989.

Filing a Claim with Your Insurance Company

Immediately following the accident, you should report the accident to your insurance company. This starts the claims-filing process. Your insurance company will work with the negligent driver’s insurance company to pursue your compensation.

Potential Denial of a Claim

There are several instances in which the other party’s insurance company will deny your claim for compensation. They’re focused on their own profit, and if they can avoid paying out compensation to you, they will by any means. This means denying your claim completely or trying to give you less than what you deserve.

Filing a Lawsuit Against the Negligent Party and His or Her Insurance

If your claim is denied, you can take legal action and file a lawsuit to pursue compensation. You must file within the statutes of limitations and have the necessary paperwork. Be sure you have legal representation on your side to protect your rights.

Motion to Dismiss

The insurance company—now the defendant in the lawsuit—can file a motion to dismiss with the court. The objective of this action is to try and convince the judge to drop the case completely. If the judge approves the motion to dismiss, you may need to look into the appeals process. If they deny the motion to dismiss, your case will move forward.


The discovery phase allows for both sides—your legal representation and that of the defendant—to bring forth various pieces of evidence regarding the car crash. This can include photos, witness statements, reports by both parties, medical and accident reports, and expert witnesses. It’s designed to allow both sides to see what the other is bringing to the case—and typically, this is when a majority of settlements are offered because the defendant knows what case you have.

The Settlement Offer

The insurance company may offer you a settlement in lieu of the lawsuit. This means you receive money directly through the settlement and you forfeit your right to take further legal action against the insurance company. Many times, these offers are much less than plaintiffs deserve. If you’re offered a rightful settlement, your attorney may advise you to take it. If the offer is less than desirable, you can continue to pursue legal action.

Going Through Trial

Many insurance companies want to avoid trial because it’s even more costly to them. They have to pay their legal teams additional fees, pay for court fees, and more. However, if they refuse to offer the necessary amount in a settlement, you can go through the process to try and convince a jury to award you the rightful amount for your losses.

At Gulf South Law Firm, you’ll find strategic tactics, aggressive representation, and compassionate service with your rights as a primary focus. We work hard to pursue the compensation and justice injured individuals need because it’s imperative to the future following serious harm.

Our Gulfport car accident attorney understands the tactics used by the insurance company and the ways they try to limit their own liability. As such, we offer tenacious representation to safeguard your rights and help you stand up to large corporations, providing the voice you need for justice.

Call our firm at (228) 231-3989 today for a free consultation of your case and learn how we may be able to help you.