The Personal Injury Lawsuit Process: How to File a Claim

Did you know that personal injury lawsuits make up most of the civil litigations in the United States?

Every personal injury matter is unique and there are so many ways to get injured, from a car accident to medical malpractice to a dog bite to a slip and fall. No matter what your injury was from you have the right to compensation if the injury is a result of someone else’s wrongdoing.

We are going to share more information about the personal injury lawsuit process and what to expect if you find yourself going down this road. 

Consultation

One of the first things you want to do is contact an attorney like Preszler Law to set up a consultation. Unless you are experienced with the laws and are an attorney yourself do not attempt to navigate this journey on your own. Consult with a professional about specifics on your injury.

You will want to share what you have paid in medical bills so far, how severe your injuries are, if the other party involved was negligent, etc. Keep in mind that most personal injury lawyers will meet with you without a fee. 

Do not be afraid to ask your potential attorney things like how long have they been practicing, is personal injury all they deal with, and how comfortable they are with going to trial. You have the right to these answers in order to make a better decision.

Investigation

Once you decide on who will represent your case, the attorney has to take the time to investigate your claim. They will have to do their homework and research with any photographs, police reports, medical records, your bills, witnesses, etc. 

Sometimes the investigation might take a while because your lawyer might have to wait for footage from surveillance cameras to be released, or they might have to wait for witnesses to return their calls. 

During their investigation phase, you want to be available as much as possible to answer any questions that might come up. Make sure that you pay attention to any emails or phone calls that come from your attorney. 

Settlement

Once your attorney does all of their research during the investigation phase, they can come up with a fair settlement to offer the other party. First, they should discuss what they feel is fair to ask for and get your permission to move forward with a demand letter. 

In this demand letter, your lawyer will outline your case and include everything they have found as far as liabilities and damages go plus what they demand as an outcome. The other party will review the letter and decide what they want to do. They might either reject the demand, accept it, or make a counteroffer. 

This letter has to be high quality to make sure that it gives the best impression to the opposing party. The goal is for the letter to be accepted and to reach a settlement without going to trial. If the case is not settled then you will have to file a lawsuit. 

You never know if a case will have to go to trial, which is why you want to make sure that the attorney you choose is familiar and comfortable with going to trial in a worst-case scenario.

Mediation

A judge might sometimes oversee mediation between both parties in order to avoid going to trial. This is an informal proceeding to try to have both parties reach an agreement. 

This is another chance to negotiate before going to trial. If there is an agreement between both parties during mediation then the case can be closed out after the judge finalizes the case.

Discovery

Before going to trial both parties will seek evidence from each other and evaluate how strong the other side’s case is. If you have a lawyer that is experienced with going to trial they will do their best job at seeking information and leave no stone unturned.     

Trial

If you reach a trial because both parties are not able to agree and come up with a solution they both feel is fair, then a trial is the next step. This is when a jury will evaluate all of the facts that both parties present and determine which party is at fault and whether or not an award is merited.

You want to make sure that you have a lawyer that knows what it takes to win and what a jury needs to hear to rule in your favor. 

Appeal

Last but not least let’s go over an appeal. This is the worst-case scenario if you do not have the outcome you believe you deserved. An attorney can appeal the case and proceed from there once the appeal date is set.

Please note that an appeal process is very different from the trial process. Having someone that has dealt with appeals in the past will come in handy. 

Ready to Tackle Your Personal Injury Lawsuit Process?

Now that you are familiar with the personal injury lawsuit process, it is time to take action. Start by contacting attorneys that are experienced with personal injury cases to help you get the most out of your situation.

Like we mentioned earlier, most will not charge you for a consultation so try to meet with a few different attorneys to make an informed decision on who to choose. 

Did our blog post help you today? Please come back often to stay in the know! 

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