The Personal Injury Lawsuit Process: What You Need To Know
If you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligent or intentional actions of another person, business, or entity, then you should be entitled to various types of compensation for your losses. Most injury claims in California are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers, but that is not always the case.
It may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the alleged negligent party to recover the compensation you deserve. Here, we want to discuss the personal injury lawsuit process.
Step 1 – Consultation With Your Attorney
The first thing you need to do after another person causes your injuries is to seek assistance from a skilled personal injury lawyer who can help you through this entire process. An attorney will usually offer a free initial consultation and examine the facts of your case to help determine the best steps moving forward.
Step 2 – Investigating The Case
Your case will need to be investigated. A Anaheim personal injury attorney can use their resources to gather all evidence needed to prove liability. This can include accident reports, photographs from the scene, video surveillance footage, eyewitness testimony, and more. If necessary, an attorney could work with accident reconstruction experts, medical experts, and other expert witnesses to help determine the circumstances of the incident and the injuries.
Step 3 – Sending The Demand Package
After fully investigating the incident and properly calculating the victim’s total expected losses, an attorney will draft a demand letter complete with all of the evidence they have gathered to send to the insurance carrier and/or the at-fault party. If the other party acquiesces to the demand, then the case will effectively be over. However, if the other party sends back an unreasonable counteroffer or refuses the demand, it will be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Step 4 – Filing The Personal Injury Lawsuit
Your attorney can handle all of the paperwork necessary to get your lawsuit filed in the state of California.
Step 5 – The Discovery Phase
The first part of the lawsuit process is the discovery phase, where both parties will have a chance to exchange evidence with one another to evaluate the nature of the case. Often, one side or the other will decide to settle or drop the case at this point.
Step 6 – Possible Mediation
If both sides cannot reach an agreement while the discovery process is ongoing, a judge may order that personal injury mediation occur. A neutral third-party mediator will hold discussions with both sides in an attempt to reach a resolution before a trial becomes necessary.
Step 7 – The Trial
If the case is not successfully resolved by both parties, it will need to move forward to a trial by jury. When this occurs, both sides will be able to present their case to the jury, and a jury will make a choice about whether or not the defendant was at fault and how much they should pay the plaintiff.
Step 8 – Possible Appeals
After a jury returns their verdict, it may be the case that one party chooses to appeal. The appellate process is much different than the normal trial process, and the injury victim will want to continue working with an attorney to get them through this.