Do you need to file a personal injury lawsuit?
If you’re injured by an individual or business, then you should file a personal injury lawsuit. But if you haven’t been through the process before, it can be a daunting prospect.
Don’t worry, we can help you! Read on to learn what to expect when you file a personal injury lawsuit.
Get a Legal Team and Ask About the Proceedings
The best thing you can set yourself up with is knowing what to expect from the whole process. You should hire an experienced personal injury attorney and go through the steps.
Get them to break down each step, what you can expect from it, and what they’ll need from you. They should be able to give you a rough timeline and detail the deadlines for each bit of paperwork.
They’ll also explain what the defense will check and could try to use against you. Not to mention you’ll want advice on when to accept a settlement or push for more if it’s not what you deserve.
Once you know the process and what’s coming up, you can make better decisions. It’ll give you confidence and peace of mind that you’re in a solid position. And you’ll get the compensation you deserve.
Your Case Investigation
Your attorney must investigate your claim in full, and it should be independent. They should go through the evidence, including:
- accident scene
- police report
- witness statements
- medicals bills and assessment
- earning strength
- employment history
and more. If appropriate, they should also team up with an accident reconstruction expert. They may also want to get expert testimony from a medical expert about your injuries. This will help them build a solid case about what happened, and the impact it had on you.
As part of this investigation, your attorney will also consider all possible defense. After all, the other side is going to look to get out of paying you anything. If you have some sort of video surveillance, that could also help your case. So make sure you give any footage you might have to your attorney for them to review.
All through the process, your attorney should keep you updated. Don’t be afraid to contact them and ask any questions either. They should be there for you and all your legal needs and concerns.
The Demand Package
With the evidence reviewed and the case building, the next step is your demand package. This is what you want to demand as a fair settlement of compensation. It will be in the form of a letter and will set out:
- your case
- damages (medical costs now and future, loss of wages, pain, loss of enjoyment)
It will go to the defense for review, but also to the opposing party responsible for your injury. As a response, the opposing party will instruct their legal team to reject it, make a counteroffer, or accept it.
Your demand letter is the most important chance for you to make an impression on the opposing party. You and your legal team must put together a high-quality, thorough letter, it’s vital.
Filing Your Lawsuit
If you can’t come to a settlement out of court, then your attorney will work on filing a lawsuit for compensation. Before the court appearance, both sides will seek evidence from each other. This is to further build their cases.
Both sides, during this, also can assess the durability and strength of the other side’s case. It’s not only about what information you get, it’s how you get it.
Once they know more about the other side’s case, your attorney can work to disprove anything they need to. Or explain anything away. They’ll find weaknesses to exploit while making your case as air-tight as possible.
Before or after you file the lawsuit, there will be mediation. This is often overseen by a current or former judge who acts as a mediator. It’s an effort to sit down with both parties and try to avoid going to court.
It’s an easy process, where the goal is to try to reach an agreement out of court. When you go through it though, the decisions and steps can impact any trial in court.
So, you want someone experienced to do it with you. Make sure the attorney you hired has experience in personal injury lawsuits. And check out their team too. You want the entire team to know what they’re doing.
If you can’t resolve the matter out of court, then your case will need to go to trial. At this stage, it’ll be down to a decision-maker on what the outcome will be.
Usually, the decision-maker will be a jury. They will go through the facts of the case, listen to both sides, and determine who is in the wrong. After that, they may even award damages.
This is where it’s important you have an iron-clad case. And you want to make sure you have a legal team behind you who know how to fight. And win.
There aren’t any guarantees of an outcome with a personal injury lawsuit. But you can set yourself up in the best position you can with an experienced legal team who has a record of success.
Depending on the nature of the case and the details, a losing party can appeal. The appeals process can differ from the trial.
If you end up having to appeal, or the other party appeals against you, then make sure you have an experienced team. You want someone who can handle appeals.
It’ll be more in-depth, and it can be a lengthy, drawn-out process. You’ll essentially have to prove your case all over again. And the first time you won won’t matter.
Your Personal Injury Lawsuit Made Easy
So, there you have it. Now you know what to expect from a personal injury lawsuit, it doesn’t have to be scary.
Arm yourself with all the information your legal team can provide. And if you can, after the accident, make sure you gather any evidence of what happened.
And make sure you surround yourself with a legal team that knows what they’re doing. It’ll be the best chance you give yourself of getting the compensation you deserve.
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