Litigation procedures can be overwhelming for those who have never gone through them before. If you’ve recently been in an accident that wasn’t your fault and sustained injuries, you may be looking for more information on how personal injury cases work. On the other hand, if an accident that resulted in injuries was your fault, you may be wondering what to expect moving forward. Regardless of fault, it’s helpful to be aware of the various stages of a personal injury case should you anticipate participating in one.
Consulting With a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you intend on filing a personal injury claim, an initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer will help determine whether you have a strong case. Typically, personal injury law firms will provide an initial case review at no cost to the prospective plaintiff.
A consultation will offer more insight on the best course of action for your case and what kind of compensation you can expect if any. Should you plan to enlist the help of the law firm for your case, you should also discuss attorney fees.
Filing Lawsuit Documents
The plaintiff should assemble all of the essential documents needed to file a personal lawsuit claim and share them with their attorney. The attorney will list the other party as the defendant on the complaint that they file with the rest of the documents.
The evidence-exchanging process is referred to as “discovery,” where both defendant and plaintiff parties swap evidence. The exchange provides both sides with a greater scope of the accident and can help them prepare for trial.
Negotiation for a Settlement
The various stages of a personal injury case will end with a settlement if both attorneys can agree on a compensation amount. If an agreement is made, the defendant will pay the plaintiff instead of the case heading to court.
The negotiation process will rely on how lenient or persistent both sides are about acquiring or paying a certain settlement amount. Plaintiffs can utilize cash advances to cover their expenses while awaiting a fair settlement.
When the parties cannot reach a settlement, the personal injury case will move to court. This stage has two substages of its own, listed below.
- First, the jury will determine whether the defendant is liable for the accident.
- Second, the jury will then determine the amount of damages if they find the defendant guilty.
Should your case go to court, you are likely to have the best outcome if you hire a lawyer to represent you. An experienced lawyer will help you acquire a fair settlement or work to minimize that settlement amount, depending on what side of the case you’re on.