After suffering an accident or injury, there are many questions surrounding one’s legal rights and the personal injury claim process. Personal injury lawsuits can be grueling and drawn-out cases. These types of cases typically result in one of two things:
Involves plaintiff filing a civil claim against a defendant in which the plaintiff accuses said defendant of acting irresponsibly as relating to an incident causing the plaintiff harm. Most commonly known as ‘filing a lawsuit.’
Most personal injury cases resort to some sort of settlement. Usually, this is something agreed upon between those involved in the incident, insurance, and legal representatives. After some negotiation, when there is consensus among these entities, a written agreement is drafted and signed, resolving the issue outside of court.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
There are two principal elements to consider when filing a personal injury lawsuit: the extent of one’s injury, which usually helps to determine what legal representation to seek, if any.
Navigating the ever-changing landscape of city traffic laws is daunting, to say the least. Los Angeles, for example, had over 1,000 changes to city streets and intersections in 2017 alone. Imagine finding your way in that, let alone the legal system as it relates to your specific case.
From depositions to the burden of proof, there are many layers to consider in a personal injury lawsuit. So, it is recommended to seek a free consultation with an attorney experienced in this area who can answer questions you may have and help guide you in the right direction.
Kinds of Personal Injuries
Personal injuries can happen to anyone at any time — be it an intentional act or negligence. Here are some of the more common types of injury lawsuits: defamation, workplace incidents, and worker’s comp, slip or fall, motor vehicle, medical malpractice, wrongful death, etc.
Once you have determined the best treatment for your personal injury, it would be wise to check with your insurance on whether or not there is a policy covering this incident or injury. Now it is time to decide if you would like to hire a personal injury attorney to proceed with attempting to reach a settlement and/or filing the lawsuit.
Personal Injury Lawsuit — Step by Step
Here is a general overview of a typical personal injury lawsuit case.
First, you meet with a lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases. In this meeting, you should discuss the incident in detail, receive any advice given, and together determine which course of action to take.
Initial Court Documents
This is where an attorney will formally file the necessary paperwork to move forward with filing a personal injury lawsuit. The documents provide the nature of the incident or injuries, a legal basis under which the defendant is being held liable, and any damages you may be requesting.
At this point in time, both sides will consult with experts, exchange evidence, and request other documents from one another to help build their respective cases.
Motions and Hearings
Before settling or heading to trial, attorneys representing plaintiffs and defendants alike have an opportunity to file a motion. Defendants, for instance, can file to dismiss part or all of the lawsuit if there is a lack of evidence to support the plaintiff’s claims.
In most cases, attorneys will look to settle before taking a case to trial. Sometimes the parties involved decide to bring in a mediator and negotiate terms until they come to an agreement.
Lastly, personal injury cases that do not reach a settlement will go to trial. This phase is split into two stages: a jury determines defendant liability and then damages.
Reasons to File a Lawsuit
Personal injuries caused by someone else’s negligence are often accompanied by steep medical bills and related expenses that you should not have to worry about.
According to personalinjuryking.com, there is a diverse range of cases that you may be able to claim compensation for. Personal injury lawsuits are complicated and particularly lengthy, so talk to an experienced attorney in your area for answers to questions and more information.
Damages for Personal Injury
Upon receiving medical treatment for your incident or injury, check your insurance policy and what kind of coverage you have. From medical bills to lost wages, to emotional distress, and even punitive damages. Personal injury cases can really stack up the bills and you do not want to be stuck with all that debt if you are not responsible for it.
Preparing for Your Case
Seek medical treatment when and if it helps your case, document your journey. Speak with your medical and legal team for assistance collecting any records. Keep your lines of communication open and all your case files organized.
Personal injury lawsuits can be a lot to take on alone. Consult an attorney to get some answers to your questions and guidance on what your next steps could be.