Accidents happen all the time. Many accidents, regardless of the specific type, can result in injuries that can range from relatively mild to severe and disabling. However, even a temporary injury can result in costly medical expenses and ongoing treatment that renders you unable to work for a period of time. If you are injured after an accident, you might want to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party who was at fault.
While every personal injury suit is different, there are certain elements that they all share. Each lawsuit also has a timeline that can vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. This is a general detailing of the steps of a personal injury lawsuit that you can expect as an injured plaintiff.
Document the Scene of the Accident and Take Pictures
If you are physically able to do so, you should write down the events that led up to the accident. Documenting everything that happened immediately after the accident is wise as you may not be able to remember all the details later on. You should also take photos of the scene with your smartphone’s camera. If the accident was on the road and involved vehicles, you should take some shots of the road, skid marks, and the cars involved. If you were injured in a slip and fall, take photos of the area where you had your accident.
Documentation and photos can serve as important evidence for your case.
Get Immediate Medical Attention
It’s important to seek immediate medical attention after you have been in an accident. This is especially important if you are in a car accident, as injuries may not always be immediately evident and you may have internal injuries. Seeking medical attention ensures that you are checked out by a doctor as a precautionary measure and that you will have medical documentation of your injuries, which you can use in your personal injury case. You will also amass medical bills as a result of your treatment and will be able to recover compensation for them and other expenses you incur as a result of the accident.
Consult With and Hire an Attorney
Of course, a personal injury case starts with the injured party meeting with and subsequently hiring a personal injury attorney. It is far more beneficial to have an experienced lawyer on your side than to go it alone in your case due to the expertise an attorney has, plus there is objectivity as well. An attorney knows how to assess the situation and will determine a monetary value toward the plaintiff’s injuries after thoroughly examining the facts and documentation as well as possibly recreating the scene of the accident with an investigative team if necessary.
Attorney Investigates Claim and Reviews Medical Records
After you have met with and hired a personal injury attorney to represent you in your case, the lawyer will get to work to learn the facts of your claim. They will conduct an interview with you to learn more about your background as well as the events of the accident, your injuries and the medical treatment you received. It’s important to answer any and all questions your attorney has and to be honest when answering, so there are no surprises arising later on.
The next thing your personal injury attorney will do is gather all of your medical records and medical bills related to your injury to evaluate them. They may also meet with doctors and other healthcare professionals you have seen for treatment and speak with them to gather more relevant information. It can take several months for this part of the process to be completed. However, it’s important to remember that anything worthwhile at the end always takes time.
File an Insurance Claim or Settlement Demand
Generally speaking, the majority of personal injury cases get settled and never actually go to court. However, this is far better when you have a personal injury attorney on your side, fighting for your rights. With a lawyer, you have a far better chance of getting a satisfactory settlement offer from an insurance company instead of being offered an amount that is far less than the value of your claim. A claims adjuster will then investigate your case and offer you a settlement.
If you are not dealing with an insurance company, your attorney will file a settlement demand letter to the individual at fault for the accident that caused your injuries. In many cases, the defendant’s attorney will respond with a counter-offer that is lower than what you are seeking. At that point, your personal injury lawyer will negotiate a higher amount.
The next step in a personal injury lawsuit is the discovery process, which allows each party to learn about the claims and defenses. Interrogatories and questions are sent to the other party as well, and depositions of witnesses to the accident are performed. This part of the case can take anywhere from six months to a full year based on a number of factors.
Mediation and Negotiation
After the discovery process, the attorneys begin discussing a settlement. In some cases, this can settle your case, but sometimes, a settlement agreement cannot be reached. When that happens, the case goes to mediation, which involves you, your attorney, the at-fault party and their lawyer meeting with a mediator to reach a settlement.
In most cases, mediation works well to settle a personal injury case. However, if this proves unsuccessful, your case will then go to trial. Depending on the factors surrounding your case, the trial can last for as little as a day or longer than a week. Sometimes, a trial is only held for half a day instead of an entire day, which can stretch the case out.
It’s important to know that just because a trial is scheduled for a personal injury lawsuit, it doesn’t mean the trial will happen on that date. It’s normal for trials to be rescheduled based on the judge’s caseload.
Waiting For a Settlement Payout
Oftentimes, victims of personal injury accidents find themselves in a financially difficult position. There are various costs that accumulate over time such as medical bills, lawyer fees, court fees, everyday expenses, and some victims may not be able to work because of the injuries they sustained. Lawsuits are usually a long drawn out process that may be delayed more than once. However, injured personal injury victims need their compensation as soon as possible in order to return to their normal lives.
Plaintiffs who are waiting for a settlement to be reached can find financial security with a settlement loan from The Legal Funding Group. Settlement loans allow personal injury victims to focus on their recovery and not their bills. This type of lawsuit funding is a cash advance for plaintiffs who are unable to afford to wait for a settlement.
The Legal Funding Group also offers post-settlement loans to plaintiffs whose settlement payouts are taking longer than expected.
Contact The Legal Funding Group Today
If you need extra finances while waiting for your personal injury settlement to reach a verdict or while waiting for it to process, contact The Legal Funding Group at your earliest convenience. We can provide you with the funds you need while you’re waiting for your case to settle.
Call (912)-777-3997 or fill out a simple online application to get approved and receive cash for your lawsuit.
- Coulter Boeschen. “Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit”, AllLaw, https://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/steps-lawsuit.html. Accessed July 17, 2019.
- Nolo. “Timeline for a Personal Injury Lawsuit”, Nolo, https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/timeline-personal-injury-lawsuit.html. Accessed July 17, 2019.