What can I expect during my Personal Injury case?
If you have suffered an injury in an accident that seems to be the fault of someone else, you might be considering a personal injury claim against them. However, if you are not sure as to what to expect or how to proceed, it may be a good idea to read on.
What qualifies as a personal injury?
If you are wondering whether what happened to you is truly a personal injury case you should know that you must have been injured by someone else’s negligent actions. If they treated you badly, if you were scared by what they were doing, or if you suspected that something bad was about to happen but it never did, you do not have a case. The main element that must be present as the very name implies, is an injury that you personally suffered.
What is the first thing you should do after you are injured?
Before thinking about any legal action, you need to seek medical help. It’s important not only because your health always comes first but also because you do not want to give the insurance adjuster the impression that your injuries are not that serious.
How can you be sure you have the right personal injury attorney representing you?
Not all personal injury attorneys work the same way and you may not feel comfortable working with just anyone. That’s why it pays to take the time to look for the right lawyer for you. To get started, make sure to go to a lawyer that specializes in personal injury, not family law, divorce, or any other area. Don’t fall for an ambulance chaser, you want someone serious and responsible taking care of you. Ask for references and, if possible, schedule an initial consultation with the prospective lawyer. Your lawyer will prove invaluable, particularly if you suffered a significant injury or if the other party is putting up a fight.
What does your lawyer do?
After conducting a thorough interview with you to find out all the particulars of the accident, your injuries, and any medical treatment your health professional might have done or prescribed, your lawyer will want to personally review all your medical records and bills. This step alone may take months to complete.
When will the demand be made?
Your lawyer will most likely not start the demand until it has been determined that you have reached your maximum medical improvement or MMI. This means the point when your medical treatment has been completed and you have recovered as much as possible from the injuries. This is done not to try your patience but to ascertain how much the case is worth, based on what expenses you have incurred. You never want to undervalue your case.
The Lawsuit is Filed
At this point, the case can move in two different directions. Your lawyer can file the lawsuit in court or you may receive an offer from the other party and, after careful consideration with your lawyer, you may decide to negotiate with them and eventually accept their offer.
In any case, there is no time to waste since you do not want the statute of limitations to run out, which is generally two years from the moment you were injured.
The Discovery Phase
This part of the process is crucial because it gives both parties the time they need to discover and gather all the information they need as to what the other side plans to do. This is a lengthy process that sometimes takes up to a year.
Negotiation or Mediation
At the end of the discovery period, the lawyers may begin talking settlement. In some cases, this is decided among themselves. In others, mediation is required. This means that a neutral third party will mediate to try to resolve the issue.
Going to Trial
If mediation fails, the case is scheduled for trial. This can last a day or go longer. You may be surprised to discover that the trial doesn’t take place on the scheduled date but gets pushed back to accommodate the judge’s busy agenda.
Many personal injury cases never get to trial but are settled. However, there is not a sure-fire way to know how your case will go. If your lawyer has determined that your case contains liability, damages, and collectability, you may have a very strong case. If you have any doubts, talk to your personal injury lawyer or find out more at https://lawyers-for-injuries.com/.
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