Most people have never been involved in a lawsuit. As such, many accident victims and their families are concerned about pursuing a claim after suffering an injury that may have been someone else’s fault. But in order to get the compensation necessary to pay off medical bills, property damages, and lost wages, it’s vital that plaintiffs understand the personal injury lawsuit process, from hiring an attorney to potentially having your case tried before a jury.
Every case is different, and injury lawsuits can take many forms, but there are several basic stages that usually remain consistent. We’ve broken down everything you need to know.
What are the Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The personal injury lawyers at Adamson Ahdoot will handle your case from the initial consultation to the appeal. They do everything in their power to help win your case, from gathering evidence and filing discovery requests to researching case law and deposing witnesses. By and large, though each case will vary, here are the steps you and your attorney will follow as you navigate the personal injury lawsuit process.
Meet with an Attorney
After you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence—and after you’ve sought medical treatment—it’s important that you consult a personal injury attorney who can help you through the legal process. You’ll discuss whether the negligence of another party was involved, if there’s a defendant from whom to seek compensation, the extent and severity of your injuries, your medical costs, and your legal options.
If, after the initial consultation, it appears that you might have a case, the attorney will agree to conduct an exploratory investigation. Your attorney will then provide you with the proper guidance needed to strengthen your claim, which may include collecting medical bills and reports, proof of lost income, and a summary of your pain and suffering.
Investigation of Your Case
Once the legitimacy of your case is established, your attorney will begin further investigating the incident to prove negligence occurred and to determine whether you have a viable claim against the at-fault party. They may review additional factors such as the police report, witness accounts, employment history, and footage of the scene. Likewise, they’ll likely consult specialists to back up your claims, such as medical professionals and accident reconstruction experts.
File an Insurance Claim or Pursue a Settlement
The next step in the legal process is often filing an insurance claim to pursue compensation for the damages you sustained. This includes writing a letter to the insurance company that requests full compensation for your injuries and damages. There may be a negotiation, at which point your attorney will advise you whether or not to accept the offer or to continue with a personal injury lawsuit.
A Complaint is Filed and Served to the Defendant
If you and your attorney decide to move forward with the case, a personal injury complaint in the proper civil court will be filed. This is the first official document in the case and outlines the broad details of the incident. Your attorney will then serve the complaint to the defendant.
At this point, the defendant will likely have a month or more to hire an attorney before the first court date. Both sides will appear in court to inform the judge of how the case is proceeding as well as facts regarding mediation and arbitration. The judge will set a deadline for each phase of the lawsuit process, which can take several months to several years, depending on the complexity of your case. At this point, your attorney will continue to collect evidence, information from third parties, and depositions or statements from witnesses.
Mediation or Trial
Mediation could happen during this stage, or perhaps at an earlier point in the legal process. Mediation—a private process that involves your lawyer, the at-fault party’s lawyer, and a neutral third party—serves to resolve the case without further litigation. Most personal injury cases settle at this point, but if you can’t manage to come to an agreement with the at-fault party, you will go to trial.
If you go to trial—which typically lasts several days—your attorney will present information to a judge or jury through testimony and evidence. The other party’s attorney can cross-examine witnesses and present their own witnesses and evidence.
After trial, either party can initiate an appeals process that can last from several months to several years. Finally, a losing defendant will be required to pay the damages established at trial or on appeal.
Choose the Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers at Adamson Ahdoot
If you or a loved one has been in an accident, consider contacting the expert attorneys at Adamson Ahdoot. The trusted legal team at our boutique firm is dedicated to keeping you informed every step of the way as you overcome this challenging time in your life. After meeting with you one-on-one, we’ll launch an investigation into the facts of your case in order to get you the compensation you deserve for any lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and psychological trauma.
No matter the size or complexity of the case, we will pour our undivided attention and resources into helping those who have suffered from the negligence of others and deserve justice. We will give you peace of mind by handling the details regarding your insurance company, the DMV, auto repairs, medical care, and everything in between. For a free consultation, give us a call at (877) 871-3265 or complete our contact form today.