What Are the Steps to Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Were you injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another? Do you have questions and concerns about your legal rights? With the high cost of medical treatment, your injuries can affect your finances for years to come. And if you are unable to go back to work, you may be worried about your future.
Crowell Law Offices understands your difficult situation, and we are here to help you recover maximum compensation for your injuries. To help guide you on how the legal process works for personal injury claims, we offer the following information to learn what to understand and what to expect.
At your first meeting with us, we will want to hear about the events that led to the accident and the injuries it caused. Along with medical records pertaining to the injuries, bring any documentation and evidence you have, including a list of potential witnesses. With this information, we will then decide what the appropriate steps will be. This is also a good opportunity for you to get answers to all of your immediate questions.
Initial Court Filings: Summons and Complaint
At this stage, you are officially a plaintiff and claimant and the party you are filing a claim against is the defendant. Summons and complaint filings let the courts and the defendant know that you were injured and are seeking full compensation for your injuries, which includes damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other losses you have suffered.
Evidence Collection and Discovery
Before negotiations or trial can begin, we must first gather as much evidence as we can, including police and medical records, witness statements, insurance information, inspection reports, and photographs from the scene of the accident.
In the discovery phase, both sides will make demands for evidence from the other side, and if there are any disputes, the judge will decide if any evidence must be turned over.
Mediation and Negotiation Stage
Mediation and negotiation can occur at anytime during the litigation of your case. If mediation is unsuccessful, then we will continue moving forward to take your case to trial. The negotiation stage is when we go to battle for you, aggressively fighting to secure the maximum settlement for your case.
Settlements and Verdicts
A settlement is a monetary payment that is guaranteed. The majority of personal injury claims do not require trial. A settlement is typically reached between the parties through the negotiation process. When accepting a settlement for an agreed-upon amount of money from the defendant or insurance company, the settlement is final. You will no longer have the ability to pursue any additional civil legal recourse relating to the accident and your injuries.
If your case goes to trial, the money you are awarded by a judge’s or jury’s verdict is not guaranteed. The plaintiff and the defendants both have the opportunity to appeal a trial verdict, and as a result, the appeal can result in the original verdict amount being either reduced or increased.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
For a free, no-obligation consultation, call Crowell Law Offices at 916-303-2800 or contact us online to learn more.