Different Stages of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Different Stages of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Guest Article

Anyone who has a personal injury claim should know about each stage of the lawsuit that makes it to the civil court and how long will it take. Let’s review the possible events of a personal injury case.

Seek Medical Care

After getting injuries in an accident immediately get medical treatment. This is the right thing to do for your health. Sometimes after an accident, if the victim doesn’t go for a checkup, the jury will assume that he/she was not all that hurt.

Choose the Attorney

After having a medical checkup choose the best personal injury attorney you can find to settle your personal injury claim. Though a victim can choose to do this on their own if the injuries or the losses suffered are significant then it’s likely better to consult with a lawyer. But how do you differentiate between a large claim and a small claim? Usually, if the victim suffered from bone breakage, if the total medical bills are thousands of dollars, or if the victim is out of work for more than 2-3 days then it might be a good idea to hire a personal injury lawyer. Visit law firms such as Pacific Attorney Group to get an idea of what a personal injury website might look like. Be sure to look over multiple law firms and compare them to try to find a top attorney in your area. After hiring the lawyer and sign the fee agreement, the lawyer and its team start working on the case.

Case Investigation and Medical Record Review

The lawyer might first take a detailed interview of the accident, the medical condition of the victim before and after the accident and medical treatments received. Tell the lawyer everything you know about the incident followed by the injuries suffered and treatment. The lawyer will then ask for the medical records and medical bills or will get from the hospital. The medical record could be of any treatment even a minor one that the victim may have had related to that accident. This phase can take time. After getting all the medical records, the attorney will review the information to determine if there is a possible personal injury case. It is possible that after a detailed review of the medical records a lawyer might tell their client that there will be no case and this sometimes happens in the very early stage of the case.

Lawyer’s Considerations and Demand Making

A minor case of personal injury might be settled before the victim files the lawsuit. If it is in the lawyer’s opinion that the case can be resolved, they might make a demand to the other side’s insurance company or attorney. If that doesn’t work the lawyer may need to file the suit. An experienced attorney may not settle the case before filing the suit if it involves a permanent injury or impairment claim. Also, a lawyer might not make a demand if it reaches the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is the point when the victim has completed the medical treatment and is now as recovered as going to get the compensation because before that it is very difficult to know how much a case is worth. This stage could take time depending upon the injuries.

Filing the Lawsuit

The pretrial procedure in every state is different so it is difficult to say just how long, but in general you might prepare yourself to expect a case to take 1-2 years to go to trial. Remember, that every state has strict time limits within which the lawsuit must be filed.

The Discovery Process, Negotiation, and Trial

After the lawsuit is filed investigation might begin and each party may investigate the legal claims and defenses of the adversary. After completing investigation both parties may negotiate or go to a mediator to settle the case. If this doesn’t work the case might be scheduled for trial which may take a day, a week, or more.

The above is not legal advice. That can only come from a qualified attorney who is familar with all the facts and circumstances of a specific case.

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