More Information About Lawsuits
Things that you need to know about personal injury claims and lawsuits.
A personal injury claim, or lawsuit, is intended to obtain reimbursement for you if you have sustained a serious injury because of someone else’s actions. When you make a claim, you may be entitled to be compensated for the cost of your medical treatment, for wages that you did not earn because of the injury, for the cost of repairing or replacing your property damaged in the accident, for pain and suffering that you endured as a result of the injury and for the emotional distress that the accident and injury caused you. Sometimes it is also possible to obtain punitive, or other, damages depending on the specifics of your case.
What happens after you hire an attorney.
The first thing your attorney will do when getting your case is a complete case evaluation. This will include looking at the evidence related to who is responsible for the accident, the damages involved, and whether there are adequate sources for recovery. If your case is viable, your attorney will conduct an investigation to develop the facts to prove up your claim, including obtaining medical records, police reports, accident photos and other evidence. After the evidence is gathered your attorney will make an offer to settle your case to the other side, and try to negotiate a settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney may file a lawsuit on your behalf to obtain a recovery.
What happens if a lawsuit is filed.
If your attorney files a lawsuit on your behalf, another round of investigation will be undertaken. This investigation is called “discovery” and may entail written questions, requests for copies of documents and other evidence, interviews, depositions, and medical evaluations. There will likely be a number of motions filed by the parties to clarify legal issues. After discovery is complete and the legal motions have been decided, there is normally another round of settlement negotiations. Often the parties will sit down with a mediator prior to trial if the case has not been settled. If all attempts to settle the matter fail, the case will be submitted to the judge, or jury, to decide.
Things to know if you go to court.
If your case goes to trial, there is never a guarantee that you will win. There are many facts that the jury will never get to hear. For instance, the jury will not be allowed to hear about insurance policies that will be paying any judgment. There are some medical expenses that you may not be able to present to the Jury, and your attorney won’t even be allowed to say so to the jury. These are some of the issues that make personal injury cases so difficult to bring.