Steps of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Dear Harsh Law:

I got injured while shopping at a commercial facility and don’t feel like the settlement offer I received from their insurance company was adequate. While I am not expecting a huge amount, I think the best course of action at this point is to have a lawyer represent me. If I were to work with Harsh Law, what steps should I expect in my personal injury claim?

Dear Potential Client:

We are so sorry to hear about your injury and hope you have been able to make a complete recovery. We would be honored to discuss your case with you but will first answer your question. Here is the process of the personal injury claim we follow with most of our clients, without knowing the specifics of a case:

Step 1. Get Medical Attention, Keep Records

If you have been injured because of someone else’s carelessness, the first step, after getting medical treatment, is to consult an experienced personal injury attorney to get a professional opinion on whether you have a valid claim. Keep any and all supporting documentation, medical records, and notes you have taken about your situation.

Step 2. Interviewing an Attorney

At the initial meeting, an experienced attorney should ask you many questions to fully understand your case. Be wary of any attorney who, during the initial meeting, makes promises about how much money you can expect to receive. Good lawyers need time and specifics to evaluate the value of your case.

Step 3. Hiring an Attorney

Your attorney should be upfront and clear on their cost and fee structure. Most personal injury attorneys operate on a “contingency” basis, which means there is no fee unless your case is successful. If you are awarded monetary compensation, the lawyer’s fee is based on a percentage of the total recovery, usually 25% to 40%, and is paid at the end of the case if successful.

Step 4. Investigate Your Case

At this stage, you and your lawyer will conduct an extensive study of your case to fully comprehend how you were harmed and the extent of your injuries, damages, and expenses. They will then contact the insurance company and, if necessary, the party who harmed you. Your attorney will keep you up to date on any negotiations and major developments throughout the lawsuit procedure.

Step 5. Settlement

Most personal injury cases are settled prior to filing suit in court. This method is significantly faster and reduces the amount of time invested by both parties. In most situations, the insurance provider will make a settlement offer, and your attorney will provide you with their professional opinion of the insurer’s proposal. While an attorney’s advice is crucial, you ultimately decide whether the settlement is appropriate.

Step 6. Filing Suit and Pre-Trial

If you and your attorney can’t agree on a settlement, he or she will file a lawsuit in court. A deadline for each stage of the litigation procedure will be established by a court. Depending on the intricacy of your case, the process might take years.

Step 7. Mediation

Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution that may be requested at any time in a lawsuit. Both parties, as well as their attorneys and a neutral mediator who serves as a referee between them, are all involved.

Both parties present their views during mediation, which is assisted by the moderator. Mediation is a non-binding procedure in which both sides offer their arguments and engage in settlement discussions as directed by the mediator.

Step 8. Trial

When a case goes to trial, your attorney offers their argument to the court or jury, after which the person who harmed you (defendant) presents their case. The jury or judge decides if the defendant is liable (legally responsible) for your injuries and damages, and if so, how much he or she must pay you.

Step 9. Post Trial

Even if you won a jury trial, your situation may not be over. The defense might appeal the case to a higher (appellate) court to change the decision. If an appeal is not brought, it can still take some time to distribute the monetary award. Before you get paid, your lawyer must first pay any companies with a legal claim to some of the money, referred to as liens. After that, your lawyer writes you a check, and the cash is yours to keep. Your personal injury case has now concluded.

Harsh Law Is Here For You

The personal injury recovery process is complex. Be sure your personal injury attorney has hands-on experience handling cases like yours and a proven track record of success. In personal injury cases, you have one opportunity to get the compensation you deserve. Choose your legal team wisely.

Call Harsh Law at 909-793-6261 for a free consultation.