Financial recovery following an injury due to someone else’s negligence or poor judgment can determine your ability to regain your life. These are the necessary steps you must take to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Retain a Lawyer
If you have recently had an accident and are unsure of your next steps, it is time to contact a personal injury lawyer. If you do not know what to do or how to proceed, then contacting a personal injury lawyer will be the best decision for you.
A personal injury lawyer will analyze the details surrounding your injury and research the other party’s ability to support a settlement or judgment before agreeing to represent you. Once your lawyer is confident that your case can proceed, you will sign a retainer agreement.
You could be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, or other damages. If you don’t know how much your case is worth it is better safe than sorry and speak with a lawyer, like one from Hickey & Turim, SC, who will help make sense of everything for you.
File Your Complaint
Your lawyer will file your complaint in the appropriate jurisdiction, keeping in mind your state’s statute of limitations. A formal complaint outlines the details of a case, including:
- Legal names for the plaintiff and defendant
- The nature of the plaintiff’s injury
- A description of how the injury occurred
- The damages the plaintiff seeks
- The reason for choosing a particular jurisdiction for filing the complaint
Service and Response
Following the complaint’s court filing, the defendant receives a copy and responds to the allegations. After the court and plaintiff receive the defendant’s reply, a judge holds a case management meeting with both sides to review all pre-trial requirements and deadlines.
The discovery stage involves both sides gathering as many details as possible to support their positions. The process includes taking depositions from the key parties, witnesses, medical experts, and anyone who can provide relevant information supporting each party’s case.
Both parties engage in a meeting to determine if they can settle the case without going to trial. Most courts make meditation a pre-trial requirement, though settlement at this stage is not mandatory. Still, mediation can save both sides considerable time and money, and it frees up the courts.
When mediation fails, both personal injury lawyers collaborate on a document that determines the specific evidence, witnesses, experts, and exhibits they intend to use to defend their cases. The final document is filed in court and may not be amended after that even if new evidence materializes.
Trial Date Set
The judge’s availability and the case’s placement on the court docket determine when the trial will occur. Scheduling and rescheduling are out of the plaintiff’s and defendant’s control, and finalizing a trial date can take many months.
Both lawyers present a case before a judge and jury, relying upon the terms established in the pre-trial motion. After receiving a final judgment, either party must pay damages or file an appeal.
Speak with a personal injury lawyer right away to determine if you have a valid personal injury case.