Personal injuries refer to emotional or body injuries inflicted after an accident. A personal injury lawsuit is filed against a person or an organization that causes injuries through reckless conduct or negligence. Depending on the severity of the harm caused, you may be entitled to compensation. However, to secure the settlement, you should know the right steps to take. Therefore, you need to consult the services of a professional law firm, such as Nye Law Groupf, for guidance on the best steps to take while filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Here are the steps you need to take during a personal injury lawsuit.
Stage 1: Consultation
The first process after an injury is meeting with a personal injury attorney. Most law firms provide consultation services at no charge. During the consultation, you should give details of your claim, including the nature and severity of the injury. The attorney will help you out by asking questions that are relevant to the case.
Take advantage of this opportunity and ask your attorney some fundamental questions, to get more information about their experience in personal injury, winning rate, and charges. The lawyer will advise you on all the appropriate action to take and explain the compensation options applicable to your case. It is also crucial that you enquire from your lawyer if you can work on a contingency basis.
Stage 2: Filing the Complaint and Serving the Defendant
After your lawyer establishes that you have a case, they will file a complaint to the appropriate court. The complaint is used to determine whether you have a case against the said party. After filing the complaint, your lawyer will have a period of one month to serve the defendant. The complaint will require physical delivery in a verifiable way. The complaint and the service papers will notify the defendant of the date they should appear in court.
Stage 3: Pre-trial
During the process, you and the defendant ask for evidence from each other. Both parties should appear in court to inform the preceding judge how the case is proceeding. At this stage, both parties’ attorneys can agree to arbitration, mediation, or decide on the trial date.
It’s also during the discovery process that both parties decide on the deposition. This process can take several months or years; however, as you move closer to trial, the defendant may choose to start offering a settlement. If they are not willing to provide the settlement amount you require, you can proceed to court.
Stage 4: Making the Demand
The majority of personal injury cases are settled even before the lawsuit is filed. If your attorney thinks that the point is to be determined, they will make a settlement demand to the defendant or the insurance company attorney.
However, an excellent personal injury lawyer does not make demands until you have improved medically; this is because the lawyer may not know how much the case is worth until you have fully recovered. If the two parties do not agree on compensation, they can move to litigation.
Stage 5: Trial
When the case moves to court, the jury or the judge analyzes the evidence to determine whether the defendant was at fault and responsible for your injuries. Personal injury trials can take one to seven days. At the trials, the injured parties’ attorney has to prove that the defendant did not use proper causes, and their negligence caused your injuries. The doctors, witnesses, police officers should testify to allow the jury to answer the verdict.
Stage 6: Judgment or Settlement
After reaching an agreement with the other side or if the court has ruled in your favor, your lawyer will collect the compensation. They will also take their share as agreed if you are working on a contingency basis. If you are not satisfied with the judgment, your lawyer can file an appeal on your behalf.
Consult an Attorney
If you have encountered injuries and think it was somebody else’s fault, consult a personal injury attorney for guidance. Personal injury lawsuits may look easy to overcome, but you need to have a good understanding of the law and the specific processes to increase your chances of winning the case.