When a person suffers any kind of physical or emotional damage due to someone else’s negligence then he/she is eligible to file a personal injury claim. In this article, the various phases of personal injury lawsuit are mentioned, which will help you through your claim process.
Personal Injury Lawsuit stages:
Step1: Consulting a lawyer – After getting medical treatment for an accident due to someone else’s fault consult a reliable personal injury advocate. It is necessary to find out if your claim is valid. Remember personal injury lawyers offer free consultations.
Step2: Assessing and hiring a lawyer – Hiring the ideal personal injury lawyer to represent you makes a big difference, so select carefully. The lawyer needs to be credible, experienced, committed, and ready to work on a contingency basis (only pay after you win).
Step3: Contact – After researching and analyzing your case on how the injury occurred, the extent of damages and costs, the lawyer contacts the responsible person or the insurance company directly.
Step4: Out of the court settlement – Mostly, personal injury claims get resolved before the lawsuit is filed. During negotiation a settlement offer will be made by the insurance firm representing the responsible person. Your lawyer will inform you and also give you an opinion on whether to accept it or not. Ultimately, it will be your personal decision.
Step5: Filing a lawsuit – In case, the settlement fails then your lawyer will file a claim in the court. The judge will then draw a deadline for every phase of lawsuit procedure. The trial can take several months to years liable on your case complexity.
Three pre-trial periods are:
- Complaint & Answer periods – Complaint document has detailed allegations on the extent of injuries and how it happened. The complaint is served personally to the defendant (s). ‘Answer’ is a document, where the offender confesses or negates the allegations in the complaint. The set period to answer the complaint for the defendant is usually 30 days.
- Discovery period – In this phase, both parties gather and share documents, information, evidence and testimony. Interrogatories (written questions) and oral discovery (depositions) takes place. During deposition, experts, witnesses and each party are questioned by an advocate.
- Motion period – Before or after completion of discovery, the defendant files a motion to act on their behalf. The motion can request the court to dismiss the entire case or one or two of your claims. Your lawyer gets 28 days to respond and file a written disagreement to the motion. Occasionally, court stages a hearing to consider arguments from both sides.
Step6: Mediation – During court cases mediation alternative can be requested for resolving dispute. Both sides display their case and proceed in negotiating the settlement terms according to the neutral mediator. Both parties can accept or refuse the offer during mediation.
Step7: Trial – If the case has to undergo a trial then both parties and their attorneys put up their case and arguments. Ultimately, the jury or the judge decides the defendant’s negligence and the amount to be awarded.
Step8: Post-trial – If the plaintiff wins the case, then the defendant can appeal in high court for verdict reconsideration. In case, there is no appeal brought, it takes some time to get paid because the lawyer has to first pay the lien (any investigating company or legalities). Then the decided contingency fees for legal assistance are deducted and you finally you get the check.
This article has been written by Evan. He has been writing many posts about how you can successfully win your claims with the help of a reliable personal injury lawyer. You could also get in touch with them by visiting their website.