The Timeline of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Personal injury litigation is the area of law that handles cases when a person has been injured, killed, or otherwise harmed due to another person’s carelessness. Injuries caused by someone else’s negligence can be very costly, and it is often difficult for people to recover from these injuries without help from a personal injury attorney.

The attorney will start by talking to the personal injury victims about the situation. It is so they can find out everything that happened, how badly injured or hurt the victim is, if there are any witnesses to what happened, and any other information that a typical investigator would find important.

After this, the attorney will usually start looking for the evidence that proves that someone else was at fault. It includes talking to witnesses, inspecting the scene of the accident, and gathering reports from medical doctors who have evaluated the victim’s injuries.

The next step will be filing a court lawsuit against all responsible parties. At this time, it would be wise to determine how much personal compensation the victim is entitled to based on their losses and overall damages. Personal injury lawyers are also critical in representing victims when an accident occurs and a police officer does not show up. A car accident lawyer must be available for victims to contact to get the justice they deserve.

An injury lawyer is the only one who understands personal injury protection coverage meaning and how much compensation each case should be. They are valuable assets that victims need before they lose their livelihood, their home, their family, and their health.

Personal injury outcomes

Personal injury lawsuits are an important recourse in our legal system for individuals who have been hurt due to another person’s negligence. But how do these cases actually work? It’s not much like what you’ve probably seen on TV. Here’s a simple breakdown:

Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

  • The Plaintiff Is InjuredThe beginning of any personal injury lawsuit, predictably, is a personal injury. If the plaintiff cannot prove that he or she has been injured, then there will be no case.
  • The Plaintiff Hires an AttorneyIn almost all cases exceeding the limits by small claims court, the plaintiff hires an attorney for personal injury cases. That’s because without personal injury attorneys, it’s very difficult to navigate the system and get a fair settlement.
  • A Complaint Is FiledOnce the plaintiff hires an attorney, that attorney does some preliminary fact-checking and ensures that there are no procedural reasons the case cannot go forward (statute of limitations, etc.). Then a complaint — the very first document of the case — is filed.
  • The Defendant Is ServedAlthough the statute of limitations for filing a complaint may be quite brief, the plaintiff’s attorney usually has a month or even longer to find the defendant in real life and “serve” him or her with the papers. The defendant will then have the chance to hire a lawyer, too.
  • The Discovery Process EnsuesIn the period before the trial, the two sides look at each other’s evidence. Then they will go to court to set a trial date, or to agree to an alternative resolution method such as mediation or arbitration.
  • The Trial Takes PlaceDuring the actual trial, both sides present their evidence, and the judge or jury decides where the personal injury liability lies. There are appeals processes if either side feels that the decision made is incorrect, which is why the whole process can take months or even years.

A Note on Settlements

Very few personal injury lawsuits actually take all the steps listed above. In most cases, the two sides will agree at some point on a settlement. This is often in everyone’s best interest, since the litigation process is lengthy and can be costly. If you are involved in a personal injury case, you should speak to your attorney about when it is to your advantage to settle and when it’s to your advantage to go to court.

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