What to Expect in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you have been injured in an automobile accident, slip-and-fall, or any other kind of accident caused by another person and are thinking of filing a claim against the individual to recover for the injuries that you sustained, you may have concerns about the steps required in order to pursue a lawsuit. The legal process can be daunting for those who have never filed a claim before, but a competent lawyer can ease your worries and do the difficult work for you while you focus on healing. We are frequently asked what to expect in a personal injury lawsuit from our clients so this article should give a brief overview of what is involved.
What are the Steps in a Personal Injury Case?
There are seven common broad phases to an injury lawsuit (For a detailed list click here for my personal injury case timeline):
Contacting a Lawyer
The first step in a personal injury lawsuit, after seeking medical attention, is to consult with and hire an attorney. Although you can file a personal injury lawsuit without an attorney, having a lawyer can greatly increase your chances of a successful outcome in your personal injury case.
Investigating Your Accident and Injuries
After you tell your lawyer everything about your accident, he or she will conduct a thorough investigation of your case. This includes gathering police reports, medical records, and any other documents that could support your case.
After determining the severity of your injuries and the likelihood of winning your case, a lawyer might talk to you about making a demand from the other party and trying to settle the case before the lawsuit is ever filed.
Filing of a Lawsuit
If a settlement is not reached, then your attorney will file a lawsuit against the person who caused your injuries to recover damages that you incurred.
During the discovery phase, the parties will investigate the other side’s claims and determine the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case. Each party can file documents called interrogatories and requests for production, which require the other party to provide certain information related to the case. The discovery process can often be the most time-consuming step in the litigation process.
If a case makes it to the trial stage, then a date will be set for the trial to occur. A personal injury trial can sometimes last only a day, but can last longer depending on the severity of the injuries sustained. During the trial, each side will argue their respective case. Following this, a jury and judge will make a decision and determine the damages that will be paid to you, if any.
It is likely that your case could settle before ever reaching the trial process. Parties are not bound to go to trial—you and the person who injured you can come to an agreement at any time during the litigation process.
Thinking of Filing a Lawsuit? Hopefully this article gave you a quick overview of what to expect in a personal injury lawsuit. Call the Lovely Law Firm Today! Often a lawsuit may not even be necessary.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else and are fearful of the litigation process, there is no need to worry. The dedicated personal injury team at The Lovely Law Firm is here to help you every step of the way to gain the compensation that you deserve. To schedule a free settlement analysis with an attorney, call 843-839-4111 today.