Personal injury law is also known as the “Tort Law”, allows the person to get compensation for who is injured by the negligence of someone else. This situation leads to file a claim against the defendant who caused harm to the plaintiff. Every personal injury case is different, and there are different standards of specifications of injury cases. One must have enough knowledge to claim his recovery for compensation so that he may get paid for his medical expenses and other losses. For this purpose, hiring a personal injury lawyer is the best way to deal with the matter. Usually, personal injury lawyers charge on an hourly basis but most of them provide free consultations. So, you must know about what’s involved in a personal injury lawsuit.
Here is the process of filing a personal lawsuit which will be less stressful and easy for you to follow:
Meeting with a Personal Injury Attorney
When a person gets injured due to someone’s wrongful doing or negligence, he has the right to be compensated for his loss. So, to claim his recovery compensation, he must file a claim in court. For that purpose, the first step is to find a personal injury attorney and provide him all the necessary details and evidence of the accident. When you find an attorney to hire for your case, be sure to track his record in handling these types of cases. It will save you from future inconvenience. Furthermore, the personal injury attorney will ask you many questions and would also guide you about either your case is valid for compensation or not. After conducting an explanatory inquiry of your case, the attorney will decide whether your case applies to insurance or not. In this general investigation, he might ask you for pieces of evidence related to the incident. Moreover, he may also ask different questions from the witness to confirm the validity of the evidence. Once the attorney finds it worth applicable of insurance, an agreement will be signed and the relationship of both client and attorney will be official.
The Attorney Files a Lawsuit
Once your case is established as legitimate, your attorney will file a lawsuit against the defendant in Civil Court. The lawsuit is the official document that consists of all the necessary details of the incident including the plaintiff’s claim, how the accident happened, and what the defendant did and how much the plaintiff lost. When the whole process of filing a lawsuit completes, the next step is to serve the complaint to the defendant. In this process, the attorney will have at least one month or more to locate the defendant and officially serve him the complaint so that he might not claim not knowing about it. Moreover, the serving paper provided by the plaintiff’s attorney will also tell the date of the court hearing.
The Discovery Phase
The discovery phase is also called the pre-trial phase in which both parties negotiate and interexchange the evidence related to the incident. In this phase, both parties are asked to provide their pieces of evidence and witness information. Furthermore, the plaintiff and defendant are also supposed to appear in front of the court and tell about how the proceedings are going on. The discovery phase also includes the question-answer session from both sides under oath. The pre-trial process or discovery phase can take months to proceed. Once the discovery phase completes, the defendant has the right to ask for “summary judgment”.
As the case moves, both of the parties try to negotiate and ramp up their efforts to win their claims. This process of negotiating conferences may also cause delaying the trial and making the hearing date pushing backward.
The Mediation Phase
The mediation phase usually occurs before the trial phase and it consists of negotiations from both parties for a pre-trial settlement. This is an informal process in which a former judge or any third party tries to convince both sides for settlement. The most important fact about the mediation phase is that it has long-lasting effects on the case because in this process both parties get a chance to understand and negotiate with each other. Therefore, it is necessary for the person who plays the role of mediator to be very experienced and professional in his field.
The demand package is usually a letter from the plaintiff’s side for settlement. It consists of all the details of liability including medical expenses, property damage, pain, future medical care, and every other loss. The demand package is always prepared by the plaintiff’s attorney who sends it to the defendant’s side. The defendant has the right to reject the demand package and go for the trial phase or he may accept to provide demanded ratability. If the latter situation occurs and the defendant agrees to pay all the expenses caused by the incident, then the settlement papers are signed. In this situation, the personal injury lawsuit will not proceed further for the trial phase and would be dismissed at this stage.
The Trial Phase
In a personal injury lawsuit, the trial process consists of investigating all available evidence and determining whether the defendant was at fault for the accident or not. In this process, the Judge or jury will investigate from the defendant whether or not he is at fault for causing the damage to the plaintiff. In case, the defendant is found to be guilty, the jury will determine how much he will pay to the plaintiff for the loss caused by the incident.
Moreover, during the trial period, both parties have the right to start the appeal process that can last a long period. If the appeal process seems to be too long or exhausted then the losing side would be asked to pay for damage caused to the trial process.
The Most Likely Outcome
In personal injury lawsuit cases, the most likely outcome is often settlement between both parties. The plaintiff and the defendant have the right to go for settlement at any point in the above-mentioned process. They can negotiate and do a settlement to end the case even before hiring an attorney or getting any professional assistance.