How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit: A Guide
Did you know that road traffic is the principal cause for personal injuries but that very few of these cases go to trial?
If you need to file a personal injust lawsuit, there are several steps involved, and it can seem like an overwhelming process. You might be wondering how to file a personal injury lawsuit, or what are the different possible outcomes?
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know.
Visiting Your Healthcare Provider
The first step following an accident that you are considering pursuing legal action for, is to go to your doctor. It is important to have any injuries or symptoms looked over as soon as possible after an accident so that there is an official medical record for future legal proceedings.
Keeping a note of these visits will come in handy during the later steps of filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Finding a Personal Injury Lawyer
The next step is to locate your personal injury lawyer. You should look for an attorney that inspires your confidence and that you trust to handle this sensitive matter.
Your lawyer should also have a wealth of experience dealing with personal injury lawsuits. If they have previously dealt with the specific circumstances of your accident (for example, dog bite or car accident), then this is even better.
Announcing Intent to File a Claim
This step will be handled by your lawyer. They will contact the party who is liable, and let them know you plan to file a lawsuit. Their insurance provider will also be notified.
Sometimes, the claim can be dealt with at this stage, so that it is not necessary to involve the court. Both sides can reach a settlement, and the lawsuit does not go any further.
If a settlement is not immediately reached, both parties will begin the discovery process. For you, the injured party, this will involve going to doctor’s appointments and trying to gather as much medical evidence as possible. You will also need to gather all evidence of medical bills and outgoings concerning the accident.
It will also be important to learn from your medical provider what the probable ongoing symptoms and treatment will be, and how much this will cost.
If any damage was done to your property in the course of the accident, this information should also be gathered. For example, the cost of getting your car repaired.
Reaching a Settlement or Filing a Lawsuit
At this stage, there will have most likely been some ongoing communication with the guilty party, as both sides attempt to negotiate a compromise. If an agreement is reached, then payment will be made to you and that is the end of proceedings.
However, if their offer is unacceptable to you, your attorney will start legal proceedings. This involves filing a complaint, giving a deposition, and the case going to trial.
A jury will decide whether or not you deserve compensation, and if so, how much. Only in bench trials does the judge decide these matters.
Now You Know How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
We’ve now covered how to file a personal injury lawsuit, so you should feel comfortable starting these proceedings. One element that can’t be underestimated is the value of a good lawyer to fight on your behalf.
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