3 Crucial Steps Involved in Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit

Car accidents, even in their mildest forms, can have destructive consequences. With the growing number of vehicles, road accidents across the US are on the rise. It has been estimated that 16 crash deaths occur each year for every 100,000 vehicles.

Victims, if alive, must recover from their injuries and seek compensation, legally or otherwise. In case the victim is deceased, their family can look for compensation or file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Every year, thousands of car accident lawsuits are filed across Federal courts for settlements. This is done when the liable party’s insurance company fails to arrive at a fair negotiation.

Once the victim decides to take matters before the court, they must follow some crucial steps. In this article, we will discuss the three main steps involved in filing a car accident lawsuit.

The Identity of All the Parties

If a car accident lawsuit is to be filed, we can be sure that there is at least one plaintiff and one or more defendants involved. The possibility of multiple liable parties often makes a case extremely complex.

Let’s take the example of St. Louis, Missouri, a city that is no stranger to gruesome road accidents. This city came last among WalletHub’s annual safety rankings for US cities. One main reason for this was the fact that St. Louis’ roads are highly dangerous.

Being a logistics hub, large 18-wheeler commercial trucks move through its interstates daily. There is a lot that can go wrong with such massive vehicles. Plus, if drivers in the vicinity do not maintain blind spots, things can soon spiral out of control.

In most accidents involving a commercial truck, other cars in the neighboring area also get involved. What’s more interesting is that seldom is there a single party to blame. As per TorHoerman Law, there may be multiple responsible parties, including the truck driver, cargo loading company, drivers of other cars, trucking company, etc.


A St. Louis car accident lawyer will be needed to analyze the case in depth. They can ascertain whether there is one or multiple liable parties. Moreover, they can also understand the burden of responsibility shared by each party for fair compensation.

The Factual Background of the Accident

Once all the involved parties in a car accident are identified, the next section must be filed. This will include all the details surrounding the accident in question. It will be written in the form of numbered paragraphs, and the accident’s chronological history will be presented.

Though this section is to be written factually, some of it will have a persuasive motive toward the plaintiffs. One useful tool to fill out this section will be reports gathered from police officers. They will have jotted down the factual background of the incident enough to support the plaintiff’s legal cause.

The factual background part is often the longest section of a car accident lawsuit. It will start by mentioning the accident date, the plaintiff, and the defendant and move on to describe how exactly the accident took place.

Once the details of the scene, both during and after the accident, are presented, the factual background section will discuss the injuries sustained. This means the number of injured passengers, along with their multiple injuries (if applicable), will be written down in detail.

The Legal Causes of Action

The third important section in filing a car accident lawsuit includes the legal causes of action. This will probably be the most challenging section to write for a layperson and will require the expertise of a lawyer.

Under this section, the attorney will mention the legal theories as to why the liable parties are responsible for the accident. The case at hand may include a count of negligence, albeit all lawsuits do not.


Negligence is simply a breach of duty to care. In simplest terms, every driver must carefully operate their vehicle. If they fail to carry out this duty, thereby causing an accident, their negligence must be reported. It is important to identify all manner of negligent actions displayed by the liable parties.

These may include, but not be limited to –

  • Overspeeding despite proper signage
  • Failing to stop at red lights
  • Talking on the phone or being distracted enough to not pay attention to the surroundings
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol
  • Improper lane changes
  • Reckless driving, like cutting off other drivers or tailgating

There is another form of negligence known as ‘negligent entrustment,’ which applies to the owner of the vehicle responsible for the crash. In case this count is applicable, lawyers will create a separate legal cause of action.

A car accident lawsuit is not usually too complex but may depend on the cause, liable parties, and severity of injuries. Plaintiffs are advised to seek the services of a reliable attorney for a thorough investigation, accurate case filing, and proper representation in court.