The Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline
What actually happens after a personal injury occurs? What are the elements involved, the steps you must take, as well as the amount of time you should expect to toss into your own case? You have the questions and now we have the answers on what you should expect for your personal injury lawsuit. Here are the steps involved and what may happen specifically for you:
Receiving Medical Treatment: If you have been injured in an accident, you should always receive medical treatment before anything else. Going to the hospital or visiting with your doctor should be the first thing on your mind because it is the best step to take for your health. It is also a good idea because the insurance adjuster will assume that you were actually hurt if you took the care to do so.
Choosing Your Lawyer: After you have received proper medical treatment, you should choose an attorney. No matter what, if the injury is big or small, having an attorney on your side with the experience you need will prove to help you in the long run. If you are out of work for more than a few days, break a bone, or your injury bills stem from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars, a lawyer will help you through it all. Have them begin working on your case as soon as possible.
Investigation of Your Claim and Medical Record Review: Your lawyer will take many steps in regards to your case; however, the first is thoroughly interviewing you about how the accident occurred, your background, and the treatment that you must receive. Your lawyer wants to gain a better understanding of everything you have been through thus far from start to finish. This process is tedious because your lawyer is responsible for obtaining all of your medical records relating to the injury and this can take some time. Then the lawyer will review these records and let you know that you do absolutely have a case.
Considering the Demand and Negotiation: Many small claims will settle before a lawsuit is filed, which is why an attorney may make a demand if they believe it will settle easily. However, if this does not work, the lawyer will file a lawsuit. The lawyer will file suit when MMI is reached, or maximum medical improvement.
Filing the Lawsuit: It could take some time before a case makes it to trial, even sometimes over a year. However, the lawsuit must still be filed within strict time limits known as the statute of limitations before you lose the opportunity to do so.
Discovery Process: This is when each party investigated what the legal claims and defenses are surrounding the case. Interrogations will take place and documents will be inspected. This process can last quite a few months from start to finish.
Mediating and Negotiating: When the discovery period is over and everybody has what they need, they will move on to mediating and negotiating. This is when both clients and their accompanying lawyers will go in front of a mediator to try and settle their case.
Trial: A case will be scheduled for trial if mediation does not work. Trials last quite a while, anywhere from a couple of days to longer than a few weeks. However, even if a lawsuit is scheduled for trial, this does not mean that the trial will occur on the date listed. Sometimes they get rescheduled due to the judge. Trials just so happen to be delayed all the time, but your trial will happen in due time.
So, you may wonder, how will the jury come up with a suitable award when they are reviewing my case? Jurors will pay close attention to the evidence that is put in front of them during a trial. They will discuss the evidence that was shown to them and come up with a handle on how they believe the accident happened and what it should be worth. This is why you should always be prepared for trial to take some time before it is settled.
Do you have a personal injury case and you need resolution? Do you believe that your case is headed to trial and wonder what steps will be taken to get you the compensation you deserve? Call us today for the help and guidance you need. At RAWA Law Group, we will help you every step of the way.