You might have been involved in an accident which resulted in your being injured. This means that you might be eligible for filing a personal injury claim. Of course, each personal injury lawsuit is different from the next, but, there are specific steps that all people need to take before, during, and after the trial.
If you are in this situation, you are probably wondering – what are the things that I’ll need to do? Well, this is exactly what this article will help you with. Let’s take a closer look at all of the steps you and your attorney will need to take in order to secure fair compensation for you:
Seek Medical Attention
The very first thing you need to do is seek medical attention immediately after getting wounded. This means that even if you have a few scrapes and bruises or if you are feeling completely fine, you must go to the ER. Not only is this important for your overall well-being, but, if you do not have the medical documentation that will highlight all your injuries, you won’t be taken seriously at court.
Find And Consult an Attorney
It is quite important for you to find a good personal injury attorney and discuss your situation and options with him or her. Of course, you can choose to represent yourself in minor trials, however, if you were significantly injured and sustained losses, your best bet is to hire a lawyer.
Generally speaking, if you cannot work for several weeks, if you have broken some bones, or if your total medical bills go beyond a few thousand dollars, you must talk to your lawyer. If you want to see what legal services you can choose from, check out this website for additional information.
The Lawyer Is Going to Examine The Claim And Medical Documents
Like with any other case, the lawyer will first discuss your situation with you. They will want to know everything about the incident, how it happened, the injuries you sustained, as well as the medical treatment you doctor prescribed. Attorneys do not like to be surprised by things they did not know, hence, try and answer all questions. Next, they will examine all the medical documents and bills you received from the hospital.
They’ll Think About Making Requests And Negotiations
Keep in mind that your case might be settled before you actually file your claim. If your attorney thinks that it can be settle, they’ll send demands to the other side, and negotiating what you have asked for. Hence, before actually filing your claim, talk with your lawyer about whether or not it can be dealt with outside of the court.
Submitting Your Claim
Once your legal representative files the lawsuit, the litigation process begins. Once you do this, the clock starts running on when your trial might be scheduled. Of course, each state has different regulations, but in general, it might take a year or two before your case gets to the trial phase. Remember that you’ll need to file everything on time, especially since your state has set laws referred to as a stature of limitations.
The Discovery Process
The discovery process or phase is when each of the sides involved examines what the other side’s claims are. They send documents and interrogatories to one another, take depositions of all the witnesses and involved parties, usually starting from the people who were involved in the accident. This particular phase can last anywhere from half a year to one year, depending on the regulations and deadlines set by the jury and court.
The Consultation Phase
As mentioned earlier, the attorney you choose will try to negotiate a deal before you submit your claim. However, if he or she is not successful, they can also try negotiating the deal later on, during the trial. This most commonly happens when the discovery phase is over. In some circumstances, the attorneys can talk it out between themselves, but, in other situations, they’ll opt for mediation.
Mediation is basically a process where both parties and both attorneys come to ask for the assistance of a third party that is completely neutral. This person is also known as a mediator and their job is to try and help all parties involved resolve the case, as well as assist with the compensation deal.
The Trial Period
In most cases, a mediator can help you work out everything, but, if that fails as well, a trial will be scheduled. A personal injury claim can last anywhere from one day to a week, and sometimes even longer. The duration can be increased because, in most places, the trials are held for only half a day, instead of a complete day. This means that your overall trial will be longer, however, it also allows the legal representatives and judges to get everything done in one day.
There is one thing that you need to know about your trial – just because it was scheduled, this does not mean that it will actually happen. The trial can be rescheduled because of many reasons, most commonly because of the schedule your judge has. If it does get moved to another date, do not think that something bad will happen or that you won’t win the case.
All court trials are delayed from time to time, for the most diverse reasons. Hence, if it does get pushed back, do not worry. Additionally, you’ll want your lawyer present at the court at all times, especially if you need to give your statement to the jury. Never go to a court hearing without your lawyer there.
As you can see, the steps that you’ll need to take before, during, and after your trial are complex and, in a way, time-consuming. However, by knowing exactly what you and your lawyer will need to do, you’ll make the entire process easier and less stressful for yourself.
So, now that you know what steps you should take when thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit, you should not lose any more time. Instead, schedule an appointment with your doctor – if you did not do that already – and start searching for a lawyer that will help you get fair compensation for the injuries you have sustained.