Unintended injuries and accidents affect an estimated 39.5 million Americans every year. Not all those accidents will lead to a personal injury lawsuit, but there is a lot that can go wrong, and there may just be a cause for the accident. Just look at the fact that six million car collisions happen every year. There are five million dog bite incidents, and 14,025 people have injuries that are severe enough that they warrant hospitalization. Slip-and-fall accidents account for one million hospital visits every year. While future safety is always a key consideration, you may be considering a personal injury lawsuit. So, we will go over what that means, what the process is, and what you should consider.
What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If you were injured in an accident that you feel could have been avoided or prevented through the actions of others, you may be considering a Personal Injury Lawsuit. It is a legal dispute that often seeks a legal judgment to find one or more persons at fault for the accident. A likely outcome could be something as simple as a settlement, or it could involve a court judgment that covers the costs for pain and suffering, medical bills, and other medical expenses.
Top Seven Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
While Personal Injury Lawsuits are not always simple and straightforward, the general trajectory that these cases follow is standard. The steps begin with the accident and end with a resolution whether it be in the form of a settlement or judgment. Here is the general process you can expect.
Get Medical Treatment
While everything began with the accident, the first step in a Personal Injury Lawsuit is to seek medical intervention. Even if you initially think you might be ok after an accident, you should see a doctor or medical provider. You need to protect your health, and your injuries may be more severe than you know.
Select a Lawyer
When you have been injured, you need to consult with a personal injury attorney who can help you make sense of it all. He or she will consult with you about the case, and let you know what you can expect in your situation.
Investigate the Claim & Possible Negotiation
Once you have chosen a lawyer, he or she will review your medical records, the reports of the accident, and any additional information you can provide. During this process, your lawyer may reach out to the other party to discuss the case and determine if a settlement is a viable option. Before agreeing to any settlement, you should consider if you are on the path to recovery.
File the Personal Injury Lawsuit
The next step is for your attorney to file the Personal Injury Lawsuit. While the timeline and procedural guidelines for each state may vary, you may expect the case to take two years before it goes to trial. You should also keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations, which means that you could have as little as a year to file, or you could have six years depending on what state you are in and the nature of your injuries.
Set a Trial Date / Discovery Phase
The Discovery Phase involves investigating claims and responses. Depending on the complexities of the case, this process can take anywhere from six months to a year, depending on the full scope of the case, the witnesses who are involved, etc.
Mediate and Negotiate the Case
While mediation and negotiation can and should happen throughout the process, it is often undertaken with more deliberation during this phase. At this point, each side has all the evidence in the case. If the parties are not able to come to a resolution, they may also consider the services of a 3rd party mediator.
Select a Jury and Go to Trial
Going to trial is not always the best option. That is why lawyers often want to resolve the case through negotiation and mediation well before it comes to this point. There are situations where
What is the Next Step in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit are not easy or for the faint of heart. It’s not always easy to know when to contact an injury lawyer. You need an expert who is in your corner every step of the way. That is why Caldwell Wenzel Asthana Injury Lawyers work with you to explain the process and make sure you understand exactly what your options are. When you go in for a free consultation, they review key steps in the process and how their dedicated lawyers will help you with your personal injury claim. Sign up for a free consultation to learn more.