Personal injury can be a consequence of someone else’s negligence or an intentional act causing injuries and suffering. If you believe that you have been a victim of such an injury, there are several important steps to follow when filing a personal injury lawsuit and claim compensation for your physical and emotional damages and sufferings.
The main steps in any lawsuit include:
Hire an Attorney –
If you have been a victim and looking to file for a personal injury lawsuit, it is imperative to consult a professional attorney who will fight for your legal rights and strive for you to receive the maximum compensation. Personal injury lawsuits require dealing with various parties such as defendant attorneys, insurance companies, judges and juries, eyewitnesses, professional experts, medical practitioners, among others. Hence, it is best to have a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer by your side.
Case Investigation –
Hiring an attorney immediately can help build a strong case for yourself. Once the lawyer is hired, they will investigate the case and help you determine the at-fault party. They can also support you in collecting the necessary evidence for your case, such as eyewitness testimonies, accident reconstruction experts, medical professional testimonies, medical reports, photographic evidence, etc. Lawsuits usually involve physical damages and economic losses. It is important to inform your lawyer about your occupation, wages, education, potential earning power so that they can determine what fair compensation for your sufferings is.
Demand Letter and Settlement –
Your lawyer will send a letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company outlining their liability and seeking damage compensation. If the negotiation is successful, you will receive a settlement amount. However, if the insurance company denies or rejects the claims, it may be brought to trial.
Filing a Lawsuit –
If a settlement could not be reached, your attorney will file a lawsuit in court by submitting the formal ‘Complaint’ that summarizes your case. The defendant’s lawyer has a short time frame within which they should provide an ‘Answer’ to the submitted complaint. This is followed by a discovery phase in which both sides have to provide documentation and evidence that they will be using for the case.
Either party can submit a motion of summary judgment if they agree with the facts provided to avoid a trial. If the defendant’s party does not respond to any summons, the plaintiff’s lawyers can file a motion to the court for default judgment.
If the case goes to trial, both sides must present their case before the judge and jury determine the outcome of the case. If the case favors the plaintiff, they can also award monetary compensation for the damages incurred.
If the defendant is not found liable for the jury’s injuries, the plaintiff’s appellate lawyers may file for an appeal of the verdict based on specific issues and conditions.
Each personal injury lawsuit is unique depending on the cause of the suffering, ranging from slip and fall, medical malpractices, auto accidents to workplace accidents, and more. If you have been a victim of such an injury, it is beneficial to contact a good personal injury lawyer who guides you on the steps for your case and ensures your rights are protected. By hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can remain assured that their expertise will help to navigate smoothly through all the legalities and nuances of your lawsuit.