Many cases can fall under the term “personal injury” in the United States. Let’s say you live in Colorado and it’s snowy and slippery. If you are in a car accident, have a slip and fall outside a business or your neighbor’s home due to their negligence, or even if you are harmed by a product you purchased that was meant to keep you safe, Denver injury lawyers are here to remind you that you could file a personal injury lawsuit to get compensation for your medical bills and other damages.
If you have been injured and are considering filing a personal injury claim, you may wonder what will happen during the lawsuit.
Here is a description of what will likely come to pass throughout these proceedings as you seek remuneration for personal injury.
Starting the Claim
The first part of your personal injury lawsuit is to identify the party responsible for the damage and then gather as much evidence as possible to prove the damages and how they happened. It is in your best interest to work with a personal injury attorney to start building up the case.
The right attorney can look over the evidence and decide whether your claim holds merit, and then discuss which steps you should take for the best results. When you choose to work with a personal injury attorney, they can formally draft a complaint and help you file it.
Filing the Complaint
To get the ball rolling, you must officially file a complaint, which is a formal document that helps outline all of your lawsuit’s details. The complaint needs to name the defendant, explain the harm or injury that happened, and explain why the plaintiff is naming the defendant in this one. It should also have a breakdown of the damages being claimed and provide all of the available supporting documents to this as well.
Once this complaint is filed in court, the defendant will be formally served, giving them a chance to respond to your claims. There are several actions the defendant can take at this point, including accepting responsibility for the issue, denying liability, and demanding a trial. The defendant does have the right to accept partial liability, meaning they will accept some responsibility for a few damages claimed but not for all of them.
If both parties can come together and agree to civil negotiation, they can meet in a settlement discussion. This process may include some back and forth between both parties as they work to find an agreeable resolution to the legal matter. The plaintiff will want to pursue these negotiations to help them secure compensation faster and to keep their legal expenses to a minimum, while the defendant may want a settlement because it helps decrease some of their costs.
Most personal injury lawsuits will be settled without having to go to trial. It works well for both parties to find a suitable solution on their own without wasting time and expense with a judge or a jury at trial. You should bring your personal injury attorney to all negotiations so that they can get the best settlement option for you.
Discovery and Litigation
During the litigation process, both parties who are involved in the lawsuit will start with the discovery process; this means that both sides will need to share their evidence, documentation, statements, and other materials intended for use during the case. This activity helps to level the playing field so there are no unfair surprises during the trial.
Discovery can take a long time, and the plaintiff should not expect it to take less than several weeks, though this can often take months or more. It will depend on the complexity of the claim. The attorneys on both sides will look through the materials to help build up the case they will use during the trial.
The litigation process continues when parties take depositions from all the key players in the case, including the defendant and the plaintiff. These depositions can be done on any necessary witnesses as well. The court proceedings can start with a formal review of the sworn statements, during which each participant in the case will testify the recorded testimony is accurate, true, and complete.
Some plaintiffs decide that the case is open and shut and try to do the work on their own – this is a bad idea. A personal injury attorney will ensure you fully understand your rights in these cases and give you professional assistance to ensure your case goes well. The amount of time this takes can depend on the case itself and all the complexities that come with it.
Damages and Compensation
Litigation will finally come to an end once the judge or the jury has had a chance to evaluate the testimony and the evidence surrounding the case. They can then decide on the liability for all damages claimed in the case.
In most personal injury lawsuits, the judge will have the final say in compensation. Sometimes, the jury will give you less than what you may have gotten in the settlement, or they will not award you anything because they do not believe the evidence is there for the compensation.
If you choose to settle the personal injury case, the final amount of compensation you will get from it can depend on the weight of any evidence you supply and the strength of the argument you bring to the negotiation. Whether you intend to negotiate with the other party or litigate this claim, your personal injury attorney will provide you with advice and help at every step. They have worked with many of these cases and can give you sound advice on how to proceed.
The Bottom Line
When you are injured in a personal injury accident, you must receive the necessary compensation to ensure your medical bills and other expenses are covered. A personal injury attorney will walk you through all the steps of a personal injury lawsuit to ensure you understand what is going on, that your questions are answered, and that you can get the compensation you deserve.