Stages of a Personal Injury Case
Understand Each Stage of Your Personal Injury Case
There are eight distinct phases to a personal injury case. Throughout the process of your personal injury lawsuit, you’ll have many opportunities to present evidence and negotiate settlements. You may not even have to go to trial to reach a satisfactory resolution. Read this article and find out more about each stage of your personal injury case.
1. Medical Treatment and Documentation
The first thing everyone should do after enduring an accident or injury is to get immediate medical attention. If you’ve been injured in any type of situation, go to the hospital or to a doctor. Have your injuries treated and documented.
Along with getting the treatment you need, your medical claims will provide proof of your injuries substance. If you don’t get treatment after you’ve been hurt or injured, an opposing attorney may argue your injuries don’t deserve compensation.
2. Review of Your Case with Your Attorney
If you feel you’ve been hurt due to someone else’s negligence or inability to provide you with reasonable safety accommodations, you need to get a personal injury attorney. Your resulting injury may entitle you to compensation. To find out, you want a professional personal injury attorney. They know what they’re doing and will help you build your personal injury case.
Your attorney will ask you questions. They need to get to know you and your case. You may feel like your being scrutinized, but that’s okay. It’s all part of building your defense case. This is a dry run for what the other attorney may say to invalidate your argument.
During this Investigation Period, You and Your Personal Injury Attorney May Discuss:
- Your Medical Care Resulting From the Injury. This includes costs of treatment and medication, your doctor’s diagnosis of your recovery and/or any long-term effects or loses you may suffer as the result of your injury.
- Money Lost Resulting From your Injury. You and your attorney can calculate lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other costs caused by the accident.
- Details of the Incident. By knowing everything thing that contributed to your injury, your lawyer can figure out if you have a case that can win at trial. After interviewing you and reviewing the evidence related to your case, a qualified attorney will know what type of demand to issue.
3. Issue Your Demand
Demand is made after a person’s maximum medical improvement (MMI) is reached. After the victim of an injury has completed their treatment and rehabilitation, the true cost of their injuries can be calculated.
It can take time to gather the information sufficient enough for a Demand Package. However, this is your first written demand for compensation due to injury. You’ll be presenting your case to the opposing party for rebuttal and you want to make your first argument as strong as possible.
Be well researched and prepared with your initial demand for compensation. With the help of a professional personal injury attorney, your demand may result in pre-trial settlement.
Before you even go to trial for your injury, your attorney will probably try for a settlement.
You don’t even need to file a lawsuit to get compensation for your medical expenses, suffering and other injury related loses. Throughout each stage of your personal injury case, you should have the opportunity to settle before going to trial.
It’s all a negotiation process. And settlement negotiations are open at all phases of your personal injury case. But, this is last chance to settle before escalating to full court proceedings.
5. File Personal Injury Lawsuit
Make your claim against the party responsible for your injury. Hire a lawyer to file your personal injury lawsuit.
6. Discovery Phase
This is the review of evidence and claims provided by the plaintiff (you, the injured party) and the defendant (the person allegedly responsible for your injuries.)
The lawyer(s) representing each party will gather evidence and prepare their case for trial. This process may include:
- Collecting Depositions
- Gathering Witness Testimony
- Validating and/or Disqualifying Evidence
7. Pre-trial Mediation
Right before you step into a courtroom to settle your personal injury claim, a judge or mediator will sit down with you and the defending party. This is your final chance to negotiate a settlement before the court proceedings.
The closer attorneys get to trial, the more likely both parties are open to compromise. Settlement lets everyone feel validated without losing entirely.
While settling your personal injury case may provide you with guaranteed compensation without the stress of a trial, only you can decide if a settlement is the correct move for your case. Consult with your attorney and understand all your options before making this decision.
8. Personal Injury Trial
If a resolution cannot be reached to your satisfaction, you and your attorney will take your personal injury lawsuit to trial.
Although the phases leading up to a trial may take time, the trial itself can be as short as a day or a week. The result of your trial is binding – the appeals processes are difficult to actualize in personal injury cases. Contact Amourgis & Associates, Attorneys at Law, to learn more about personal injury cases.