Follow These Guidelines To Proceed With A Personal Injury Lawsuit

You can pursue a personal injury claim when you incur damages or bodily harm because of someone else's recklessness. In such cases, you may get an out-of-court settlement, and you do not need to file a claim. However, some cases can be complicated, especially when dealing with uncooperative defendants and insurers. If facing such an issue, you should consider filing a lawsuit if you have followed the regular channels to get a settlement and haven't made progress. These are the steps followed during a personal injury lawsuit.

Making the Pleading

You are responsible for initiating the court procedure, and pleadings are the initial documents in a civil lawsuit. As such, you start the legal action as the aggrieved party by filing a complaint with the court. Note that the complaint sets forth the alleged events and the legal grounds for your claims. Then, the court will give you a copy of the complaint. Further, you must offer the defendant a deadline by which they must reply to your complaint. Mostly, the insurance provider will retain the services of a defense attorney to respond to the claim. You should know that they will claim no wrongdoing occurred and may raise proactive arguments like failure to reduce damages and contributory blame.

Handling the Discovery Phase

Your lawyer and the other team will have to assess the evidence and determine the strength of the case. During discovery, lawyers continue to compile relevant data and evidence. Note that your lawyer benefits from learning more about the other's arguments and how they plan to counteract your claim. After this period ends, the parties may attempt to reach a settlement. In most cases, both parties could avoid a trial through information obtained during the investigative process. More importantly, you should know the time needed to finish this stage is typically the longest. Nonetheless, it is an essential part of any personal injury claim.

The Actual Trial

Depending on the claim, the case might get solved in a pre-trial. However, if the judge cannot offer a summary judgment and the incident is complex, it will be moved to trial. When this happens, the court appoints a jury, and you and the defendant present the evidence and arguments. Then, the jury renders its verdict based on its interpretation of the evidence. They also rely on the judge's interpretation of the law. Ultimately, they determine the punitive damages to the petitioner if they find the accused guilty of negligence, fraud, or willful acts.

These are the stages followed when handling a personal injury trial. Remember, if you are facing a similar situation, the process will go smoother if you engage a personal injury lawyer.