If you have been involved in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you might be wondering what steps you need to take.
Your personal and financial health is determined by the actions you take after the accident. You’ll immediately think about filing a personal injury lawsuit. If you are looking to file a personal injury lawsuit, then one aspect you need to understand is the personal injury lawsuit timeline.
The lawsuit timeline explains all the steps that you need to go through to get compensated. You might not go through all the stages, but understanding every step in the timeline is necessary.
Get Medical Treatment
The first and crucial stage is getting medical treatment. You need to make an immediate appointment at the emergency room for examination. You should seek a medical examination even when not experiencing pain.
Some people tend to walk away if they are not hurt. You’ll never know your general health condition without a doctor’s examination. Sometimes you could have an internal injury or bleeding.
Remember that seeking medication has a direct impact on your lawsuit. You need to have proper medical records to prove your injuries. Without such documents, the jury may assume that you did not suffer serious injuries.
Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer
After medication, you need to choose a personal injury lawyer to handle your case. You need to find the right one. Choosing a lawyer based on a relationship will not work.
A personal injury claim is not a simple legal issue. Having the best lawyer can help you have the edge over the defendants. Your opponents will also look for the best lawyer to defend them.
Friends and family members can help you to get the best lawyer. Online recommendations can also be a source of information regarding attorneys.
Meet with your potential lawyers before making the final selection.
Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline Review
This is the review stage. Your attorney will investigate and review everything. In this stage, your lawyer might decide to have an interview with you.
For an attorney to build a strong case, you must provide all the necessary details. You must disclose all the details concerning the accident. Your medical documents will also be essential sources of information.
Some people tend to hide some details and only give them at a later date. Lawyers don’t like to be surprised. If you want your lawyer to win, you must answer all questions thoroughly.
Making Demands and Negotiating
In a personal injury lawsuit process, your lawyer may consider writing a letter of demand. This letter is directed to the person responsible for the accident. This letter plays a central role in settling the case without moving to court.
Your insurance company may opt for negotiations. Personal injury lawsuits are complex and time-consuming. If negotiating can work, it is the best option.
However, sometimes the insurance company may play it hard. They may want to undervalue the injuries. Sometimes they may want to settle for smaller compensations.
Your lawyer should wait up until the point of maximum medical improvement. This is the only time that demands are made. Otherwise, you are likely to get a raw deal.
Filling a Personal Injury Lawsuit
The litigation process will start after filing a personal injury lawsuit in court. There are some steps involved before the trial begins. On average, it can take two years for such cases to get to the trial phase.
Always make sure that you are observing the timelines. Every state has some strict timelines for filing personal injury lawsuits. Delays in filing such lawsuits might work against you.
Personal injury protection should be the first point of argument. It is your right to get compensation for medication and loss of income.
In this stage, the two opposing parties exchange legal details. As the plaintiff, you have to present your legal claims to the defendant. You’ll also access their defenses.
You will also have to present your witnesses to the defendants. Likewise, you’ll have access to their witnesses. It is a legal process that focuses on disclosure.
The discovery phase helps participants to avoid ambushing each other in the courtroom. You’re obliged to present all the details.
The discovery phase can take up to one year.
Mediation and Negotiation
After the discovery phase, the two parties might consider negotiating for the second time. This is a common practice in personal injury cases. It usually happens when parties sense they can settle the problem out of court.
The plaintiff or defendant can initiate the negotiation process. However, one party might feel it does not have a strong case. In this case, it will be confronted to start negotiation instead of starting a losing battle.
Out-of-court settlements are tough to conclude. Sometimes mediation might be the only way of getting a good settlement. Neutral third parties are better suited to help the parties arrive at a binding solution.
If mediation does not work, the case goes to trial.
You might be wondering how long does a personal injury lawsuit takes. Trends show that it may take a week or even longer.
Trials are usually held half a day. It allows lawyers and judges to handle other issues in the afternoon. This explains why it may take longer to complete such trials.
Sometimes a scheduled trial date can be pushed forward. Trials are delayed all the time. The schedule of the judge determines when your case will be handled.
Managing Personal Injury Case Timeline
As a layman, managing a personal injury lawsuit timeline is not easy. There are technical issues that need handling. You may not have the knowledge required to handle such matters.
That is why it is advisable to have an experienced personal injury lawyer.
For more informative articles on personal injury timelines, please visit our website.
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