What are the Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If you find yourself in a situation where you are injured in some kind of accident, and that accident is someone else’s fault, you have the right to a personal injury lawsuit. This article will explain what this process looks like.
The first thing you should definitely do is seek medical help. Not only is this something you should do for your health, but otherwise the jury will consider your injuries less serious.
Whether it is a minor or more serious injury, it would be a good idea to at least consult a personal injury lawyer. They certainly have more experience and can handle the case better. However, you do not have to hire the first lawyer you visit. It is always advisable to hear a few different opinions before making a final decision.
The lawyer will first conduct a thorough interview with you. It is very important that you share all the information with him, so that there are no unpleasant surprises for the lawyer later.
Another good thing when it comes to hiring a lawyer is that he will take over the collection of all medical reports and bills related to the injury. However, you should keep in mind that this is a process that can sometimes take months.
If there is a minor injury, most lawyers will try to settle before filing a lawsuit. However, if a settlement is impossible, you will move on to the next step, and that is filing a personal injury lawsuit in court. What you also need to be prepared for is that it sometimes takes as long as between one and two years for a personal injury case to get to trial.
The next step is the discovery stage. The discovery phase is when each party investigates what the other side’s legal claims and defenses are. This includes that each party will interrogate the other, request certain documents, and take depositions from all relevant witnesses. Depending on the complexity of the case and the court’s deadlines, this can take between six months and a year.
After the discovery stage is over, lawyers will usually try to reach a settlement. Sometimes lawyers will settle this among themselves, and sometimes mediation will be necessary, a process in which both parties and lawyers receive help from a neutral third party – the mediator.
If the mediation fails, the case goes to trial. A personal injury trial can last a day, a week, or even longer. However, in most cases, personal injury cases settle, because everyone wants to avoid those long processes and going to court. If it is still not possible to reach an adequate settlement, then this last step is unfortunately inevitable.