All of the Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you have been injured in an accident, you may be thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit. You also probably wondered what you could expect to happen throughout the claims process, and we want to share that information with you. Keep reading to learn about the steps in a personal injury lawsuit:
Getting Injured in an Accident
The first unfortunate step of filing a case is being injured in an accident. There would be no case if there weren’t an accident. There are a variety of different kinds of personal injury accidents, some of which include motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, slips and falls, and more.
Seeking Medical Attention
The next step of a personal injury lawsuit is receiving medical attention. While you may not think your injuries are worth going to the doctor or hospital over, this could be detrimental to your case. Insurance adjusters and juries could argue that your injuries weren’t that serious or they weren’t caused by the accident if you don’t receive medical care following your accident. Even if you don’t have immediate symptoms, it is not uncommon for them to show up days or weeks after your accident, and you should seek medical care as soon as symptoms arise.
Consulting with a Personal Injury Lawyer
After you have received medical care, you should set up a free case review with one of our lawyers. This doesn’t cost you anything. It is designed to let us get to know each other and for us to determine if you have a valid case. Both parties will ask questions to learn more about each other and the case, and if your case is valid and you want to work with us, we start the process by filing a claim with the at fault party’s insurance company.
Filing a Claim
After retaining our firm, a lawyer will file a personal injury claim with the other party’s insurance company. Most cases will settle without litigation being required, however, if needed, we will also file suit in court on your behalf. This document, called a complaint, basically states that you (the plaintiff) are alleging that the other party caused the accident (the defendant), and that you suffered damages as a result. The defendant will receive a copy of this document and have a specific amount of time to find a lawyer.
Entering the Discovery Phase
After the defendant hires a lawyer, the lawsuit goes into the “discovery” process. Both sides will request evidence, documentation, witness information, and other pertinent information regarding the case. Depositions, which are interviews with opposing parties and witnesses, will be held during this time as well.
Mediating and Negotiating
After collecting information and interviewing people, lawyers will enter the mediation and negotiation phase of the personal injury lawsuit. Both sides typically will try their best to settle the case during the phase and come to an agreed amount of damages. This is usually where most cases are finished because most personal injury claims are settled out of court, but on rare occasions, these lawsuits go to trial.
Going to Trial
If the lawyers cannot come to an agreement, your case will go to trial. During the trial, a judge or jury will listen to the lawyers present both sides of the case, and they will come to a decision.
Collecting Your Damages
After your lawyer has come to an agreement or your case outcome is determined in court, the next step is to collect your damages. Your lawyer will collect these funds and give them to you.
Now you know more about the personal injury lawsuit process and what you can expect if you have been in an accident and want to file one. Personal injury cases have several steps, but you don’t have to go through them alone. Contact one of our personal injury lawyers today to set up a free case review and discuss your next steps.