Personal injury lawsuits can take many forms, as different laws and regulations govern each type of case in every state. Nevertheless, the stages involved in each lawsuit are generally the same. If you or your loved one was hurt in an accident caused by another's negligence, here's an overview of what to expect.
What Happens During a Personal Injury Case?
Your personal injury attorney will start by thoroughly investigating the circumstances that led to the accident. This can include examining the accident scene, police reports, witness statements, and photographs. Your lawyer will also gather some personal information, such as your employment history, medical bills and records, lost wages, and any treatment record you have. Be as accurate as possible when your counsel asks about your injuries and your recollection of the accident.
You can determine the actual cost of your injuries after you're done with treatment and rehabilitation. Only then can your attorney draft a demand letter detailing your case's circumstances and the full amount of compensation you seek. If both you and the other party decide not to settle, your lawyer will file a personal injury lawsuit in court.
In this stage, both parties will analyze and review each other's defenses and claims. There will be an exhaustive evaluation of all the facts of the case, and each side can ask for relevant documents and evidence from the other. Requests for depositions can also take place in this phase.
This informal proceeding involves a neutral mediator who will attempt to handle negotiations and avoid trial. The mediator is usually a judge or lawyer who isn't involved with the case but helps the parties reach an agreement. Mediation is voluntary, and the mediator won’t give opinions or make decisions.
5. Trial or Settlement
Most parties are willing to settle as long as they feel validated. However, if you can't resolve the matter, the case will proceed to trial, where a jury will establish fault and award damages. Personal injury trials can take about a week to conclude, and sometimes even longer depending on the case.
When you need legal representation for a personal injury case, reach out to The Law Office of Christopher J. Swatosh in Ava, MO. For more than two decades, Attorney Swatosh has been providing his clients with aggressive representation in a variety of cases. Call him today at (417) 683-2987 to discuss your case, or visit his website to get in touch with him online.