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.

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What to know about Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

When a professional health care worker, such as a doctor, a nurse, a dentist or a hospital does something that is not a standard of practice of those with similar training and experience, and that results in an injury or damages of a patient, we are talking about medical malpractice.

For those of you who think that medical malpractice doesn’t happen that often, you should know that medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.A. – right behind heart disease and cancer. But how can you know if you are a victim of medical practice? Four legal elements must be proven.

The first one is that there must be a legal duty toward the patient. This means that a professional relationship between a patient and health care provider was established.

After the first element, the second one is a breach of this duty by a failure of a treating doctor to adhere to the standards of the profession. Sometimes that can be obvious (for example, an operation on the wrong limb). However, when it comes to more complex situations, there is a need for other experts in the field to testify and confirm that care which a reasonable, similarly situated professional would have provided to the patient, was actually breached.

The third element is to establish a connection between such breach of duty and injury to the patient. This means that, if you are not satisfied with the results of your surgery, but there aren’t any injuries or damages that resulted from the doctor’s breach of duty, it isn’t medical malpractice. The reason for this is because, in general, there are no guarantees of medical results.

The fourth and final element that makes you qualified for a medical malpractice lawsuit is called damages. Damages are actually consequences that medical malpractice left on a patient’s life. For example, if there was a fracture as a result of a doctor’s mistake, but the fracture went on to healing, leaving a patient with no actual damage, there would be nothing for the court to award.

What should you do if you think you have a medical malpractice claim? The first step would be to talk to an attorney who specializes in such work. They will do a thorough review of the case details to determine whether the case is actionable. Keep in mind that there are two options – the case could be settled, or go to trial.

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