Every personal injury case is unique. However, the law covers common steps that need to be taken in each case. In this article, we cover all the things you need to know and conduct if you experience something like that.
Make sure to ask for medical treatment because you have been injured!
The first step that you need to take when you experience some injury is to seek adequate medical treatment. It does not matter how you are injured, you need to take care of your health. However, going to the hospital and seeing the doctor can help you with your claim as well.
Basically, you will have a proof for your case. Not only that the insurance will cover your medical costs, but you will also have evidence from the doctor that will be significant to the jury. However, keep in mind to visit a doctor in a timely manner. Certain injuries such as internal bleeding are not noticeable immediately, but they can be fatal for your overall health.
After you are injured, you need to hire the attorney
The second step that you need to follow in the injury case is to find a good attorney. Keep in mind that this is the most important thing that needs to be done in cases like yours. The reason for this is that the whole procedure will depend on the attorney you hire.
No case can go far without proof of your injury and that proof needs to be defended. The defendant’s liability or the extent of the plaintiff’s losses will not have a big influence on your case if you and your lawyer do not have valid injury evidence for the court.
Let’s analyze the procedure of how and at what point exactly you need to consult with the lawyer. If the losses of the plaintiff are bigger than the local claims court limits which are between $5,000 to $10,000, it is necessary for the plaintiffs to talk with a lawyer.
Through the consultation, the lawyer will see whether the defendant has a case, and he will agree to conduct the investigation. The lawyer will examine whether his client has applicable insurance and has enough assets to cover the settlement. If the case is viable to the attorney, he will sign the agreement between him and the client. At that moment, the collaboration becomes official.
The filed complaint needs to be served on the defendant
Once it is established that the case legitimately exists, your attorney will file a document called “Personal injury complaint” in the civil court. This represents the first official document in your case and it covers all details and information of your testimony. More precisely, it covers what the defendant did, how tough the injuries were, etc.)
The plaintiff and the lawyer have a month to serve the complaint. The term of serving the complaint means that the complaint needs to be physically delivered to the defendant, in a way that can be verified. The defendant will not be able to claim that he does not know about the lawsuit because the document is verified. Also, the document will include a paper with the date by which he needs to appear in court.
The Defendant Also Needs to Hire an Attorney
The other side will have enough time (about a month) to find the lawyers before the court date. The only requirement for hiring an attorney is that the defendant has assets or an insurance policy. Logically, in case the defendant has insurance, he/she needs to notify the insurance company when he/she got the lawsuit.
This is a strict procedure that needs to be conducted because the insurance policy requires that. After that, the insurance company will find and pay the lawyer, in case the defendant did not do that. The defendant’s attorney will work at an hourly rate, not under a fee agreement. For that reason, the defendant needs to think about whether he can afford to pay the lawyer.
After that, it is time for the Pre-Trial and “Discovery” Procedure
In the pre-trial process, both sides will show the evidence and witness details. For that reason, this phase is also named – the discovery process. Both sides will appear in the court and inform the judge about the case is progressing and whether sides agree to go to the mediation or arbitration. Also, they will set a trial date.
Logically, in the next period, both sides will start to schedule depositions of the opposing sides and witnesses. This includes the questioning and answering phase. Every personal injury case lasts differently, however, this process can take months even years. When the discovery phase concludes, the defendant has the chance to ask the judge to throw out the case based on the “summary judgment”.
More precisely, the defendant will argue that the plaintiff can win a trial. However, these actions lose often. After that, the case will move closer to trial where both sides will put a big effort into settlement and actions that need to be taken. This includes selecting a jury, and evidence that can be allowed at trial.
It is time for The Trial Phase of a Personal Injury Case
Finally, the trial phase will begin and it will last a couple of days. At the personal injury case trial, the judge will determent whether the defendant is guilty for the occurrence of the accident and for losses that the plaintiff experienced.
Also, the judge will settle how much he needs to pay for the damages if he is guilty. Once the trial ended, both parties can ask for appealing the process and that can last several months or even a couple of years.
However, the settlement will Most Likely be the Outcome
Usually, most cases like this settle before a trial. In fact, at any moment in the process, parties can settle the agreement and end their case. This can happen even before a complaint is filed. The thing that will most likely influence such a decision is the lawyer.
If you find a reputable and credible lawyer that has a lot of experience and knowledge in this field, you should not worry about the outcome of the case. If you find yourself in a situation like this, you can contact a reliable brandonjbroderick.com and try to solve the problem as easy as you can.