If you’ve suffered injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, you’ll probably want to make a full recovery for your losses. This can be a daunting and overwhelming process, especially if you have never had a similar experience before.
While each case is unique, and there is no single way to handle a personal injury matter, the basic stages of an injury case often remain constant. Talking to reputable West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Fetterman & Associates, P.A. can help you understand these steps and ensure you get the compensation you are owed.
Consulting with a personal injury attorney
When an accident does not result in any injuries or property damage, pursuing a personal injury claim with a lawyer may not be worthwhile. However, it is always a good idea to discuss your situation with a personal injury lawyer if:
- Your medical expenses exceed a couple of thousand dollars
- You break a bone
- You are out of work for more than a couple of days
While you might be tempted to handle your personal injury claim yourself, do not try to walk the journey of recovering compensation alone. Talking to a lawyer will ensure that you understand your legal rights and options before your case starts.
Investigation of your case
Before a personal injury lawyer can begin recovering your compensation, they must first carry out investigations to establish the validity of your claim. Your personal injury attorney will examine all the available evidence during this stage and may work with medical experts, accident reconstruction experts, and investigators. The investigations’ objective is to establish whether another person is responsible for your injuries and whether it is possible to prove your case.
Settlement demand and negotiations
The next step after investigations is making a settlement demand. This often involves writing a demand letter to the at-fault party outlining everything about your case, including things like liability and damages – injuries, medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
The demand letter can be sent to an individual, insurer, business, or government entity. In response, the at-fault party or their insurance provider may accept your request, reject it, or make a counteroffer.
The filing of the lawsuit
If your injury claim cannot be resolved through negotiations, filing a lawsuit is the next natural step. Because of the many complicated rules that govern injury lawsuits, having dependable West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys on your side is critical. It is essential to bear in mind that it can take up to two years from the moment you file an injury lawsuit for your case to go to trial.
The stage begins as soon as you file a lawsuit. In the discovery phase, lawyers representing both parties exchange the available evidence and examine the defense arguments and legal claims of the opposite side to evaluate the strength of the other side’s case. The discovery process can take up to one year, depending on the complexity of the case.
Mediation and litigations
Just because you have filed a lawsuit does not mean that your case will make it to trial. In fact, most injury lawsuits are settled through mediation rather than tried. This is a process where both parties try to reach an agreement in the matter with a mediator’s help, usually a current or former judge. If mediation is unsuccessful, litigation (having your injury case decided in court may be your last option.
Talk to a personal injury attorney today
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Fetterman & Associates, P.A. can help. Contact us online or give us a call at (561) 845-2510 to book a free initial case evaluation.