If you have never been involved in a lawsuit before, you may have many questions about how lawsuits work. While every lawsuit is different, most personal injury cases have several elements in common, starting with a review by your attorney and continuing up through settlement or trial.
If you were involved in a bad accident that resulted in health problems such as broken bones, missed work, and major medical bills, you should consider working with an experienced personal injury attorney to evaluate your claim. Most families cannot bear this level of burden, so it is usually wise to an expert’s opinion about who was at fault and about whether a lawsuit might be fruitful. You should make an appointment quickly, as there are strict time limits for filing, and your attorney will have much to do before filing a lawsuit.
After you meet with your attorney, he or she will want to review many documents that relate to your case. These documents include the collision report, your medical records and expenses, your employment records, and evidence about the accident. At some point, your attorney will speak with you about making a demand against one or more insurance companies. This is commonly done before lawsuit is filed.
If no agreement of settlement is reached, your case will enter the pleading stage. During this stage, your attorney files a complaint, which lays out the facts and legal theories that he or she believes make your case. The people you are suing, known as the “defendants,” will file a document called an answer that sets forth the facts and legal theories that they believe apply to the case.
Next, the parties in a lawsuit will collect information through a process known as “discovery.” This includes written questions and oral testimony that is given under oath. It is also common for you to attend a medical examination as part of discovery. Discovery helps to narrow the issues and to bring out the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case.
As the case enters the pretrial stage, mediation is often conducted to try to reach a settlement, now that the issues are clearer. If a settlement is reached, there will be a formal agreement explaining what each party is getting or giving up to settle the case. The settlement is accompanied by a release in which you agree not to bring further lawsuits that arise out of the facts of your case.
If no settlement is reached, the case will proceed to trial. There, a judge or jury will evaluate the evidence that is put on by both parties. You will testify, along with other witnesses, such as people who saw the accident and your health care providers. At the end of the trial, a decision will be made about who wins. If you win, the judge or jury will likely award you money damages designed to compensate you for your injury and your monetary losses.
The experienced accident lawyers at Alexander Law Group, LLP have the skills and experience to assure that you receive the compensation you and your family deserve for any damages you have suffered in an accident of any kind. Delay can result in the permanent loss of personal injury rights. Don’t put it off. Contact us online or call now: 888.777.1776.