Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you have suffered an injury in an accident, you may have decided to work with a personal injury attorney to file a claim and fight against the other party and get the compensation you deserve. However, there is a chance that this will be your first time in this situation, and you may have some doubts as to what the steps in a personal injury lawsuit are and what you can expect in the end. Let’s find out.
Meet With Your AttorneyWhen you first meet with your attorney, you must explain what happened to you and how. As they listen to your story, they will determine whether you have a viable case. If your injuries are small, you may be directed to Small Claims Court; otherwise, your lawyer will agree to take the case and initiate an investigation.
A Complaint is Filed and ServedOnce it has been determined that you have a legitimate case, your attorney will file the claim in the appropriate civil court. In this document, the case will be explained, and what happened and how will be specified. At this point, your Lakeland injury lawyer will have one month to reach out to the defendant and serve the complaint on them.
The Defendant Hires Legal RepresentationOnce the defendant has received the complaint, they should go ahead and get their own attorney. They must also let their insurance company know about the lawsuit. The defendant may find out that the insurance company is willing to appoint a lawyer, should the defendant not have the resources to do so.
Pre-Trial and DiscoveryIn the next phase, both sides will exchange information on the accident and testimonies from witnesses. The judge will also need to be informed as to how the case is proceeding. The parties may agree to go for mediation or arbitration, and a trial date should be set.
Both parties will begin to schedule depositions from the other party and their witnesses; this can take several months. Once this is completed, the defendant may ask the judge to throw out the case believing that the plaintiff will not be able to win at trial.
As the trial comes nearer, both parties will go all out trying to gather all evidence and do anything else to strengthen their case. At this point, the jury will be selected.
TrialBoth parties can count on the trial lasting several days. Then, the judge or jury will decide if the defendant was at fault for the accident and if they are responsible for the plaintiff’s losses, and how much they will have to pay. Once the trial is over, both parties have the option to file an appeal. This phase can take months or even years.
SettlementEven though the above are the steps involved in a personal injury lawsuit, in reality, most personal injury claims are resolved through settlement. Working with a personal injury attorney can also help if your case ends up this way since they have the necessary negotiating skills to obtain the most favorable results for you. They will argue with the other lawyer and come up with a figure that is fair to you.
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