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 jury, 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 and it is important to inform your lawyer about your occupation, wages, education, potential earning power so that they can determine what is fair compensation for your sufferings.
Demand Letter and Settlement – Your lawyer will send a letter to the insurance company of the at-fault party outlining their liability and seeking for damage compensation. If the negotiation is successful, you will receive a settlement amount. However, if the insurance company denies or rejects the claims then it may be brought to trial.
Filing a Lawsuit – If settlement could not be reached, your attorney will file a lawsuit in court by submitting paperwork of 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.
Motion – A motion of summary judgment can be submitted by either of the party if they are in agreement 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.
Trial – If the case goes to trial, both sides are required to present their case before the judge and jury who determine the outcome of the case. If the case is in favor of the plaintiff, they can also award monetary compensation for the damages incurred.
Appeal – If the defendant is not found liable for the injuries by the jury, 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 which can range 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 ensure 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.