If you or a loved one has recently been involved in an accident that resulted in a personal injury, you will likely need information on what to expect from your case. It is helpful to speak with an attorney from Herrig & Vogt, LLP if you need quality guidance on what steps to take. We can take the necessary actions to protect your rights and provide you with professional representation that you deserve during this difficult time.
Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Most individuals have never been involved in a personal injury lawsuit and will need as much guidance as they can obtain. Read through the steps below to understand the stages of a personal injury lawsuit.
1. Meet with a personal injury attorney
If your injury was caused by the negligence of another individual, you will want to ensure that you have the legal backing that you need while pursuing a personal injury claim. After you receive the medical treatment you need, you should consult a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer from our firm. Come prepared to your evaluation with notes regarding the accident, medical records, and all other documents available that support your claim.
2. Investigating the case
Your personal injury attorney will research your case to develop an understanding of how you were injured and the extent of the damages you suffered as a result. The attorney will then directly deal with the insurance company to pursue the best possible settlement. During the time when your case is being investigated, you should focus on your physical wellbeing and obtaining the medical attention you need.
3. Settling your case prior to the lawsuit
In many cases, personal injury claims are settled before a lawsuit is filed. Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company who is representing the other party. If a settlement is offered, your attorney will inform you of the amount as well as provide his or her opinion of the situation. You have the opportunity to decide whether the settlement is acceptable.
4. Filing the suit in court
If an acceptable settlement cannot be reached, a lawsuit will be filed in court. The judge will provide deadlines for each phase of the lawsuit.
The phases include:
- Complaint and answer phase
- Discovery phase
- Motions phase
5. Going to trial
If your case goes to trial, your lawyer will present your case to the judge or jury. The other party will then present his or her defense. After each side has spoken, the judge or jury will determine whether the other party was liable and the extent of the damages that you will be paid.
The trial will likely include the following phases:
- Jury selection
- Opening statements
- Witness testimony
- Closing statements
- Jury instruction
- Jury verdict
6. Post trial
Even after the jury gives a verdict in your favor, further action may need to be taken. The defense party may appeal the case, which could result in a change of the verdict. It may also take time to distribute the award that you will be paid. Once all companies are paid that have a claim to a portion of the settlement and you are given a check from your attorney, the personal injury lawsuit is concluded.