The Stages Of A Personal Injury Case
If you’re planning on filing a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll want to make sure you’re familiar with the stages of a personal injury case. Every stage of the case will help to determine whether or not the defendant is liable for the injuries that you have incurred. The attorney that is representing you will work alongside you during each stage of the case.
Your lawsuit will officially begin when you file a formal pleading with the court. This is also known as a complaint. Your complaint will state why you are suing the defendant, and it will also state the damages that you are seeking. The defendant will have the opportunity to respond to your complaint with an answer before your case moves forward. If the defendant believes that they are the injured party, they will also have the option of filing a counterclaim.
Once all pleadings have been filed, the discovery stage will begin. During this stage, both parties will have the opportunity to gather information that supports their case. You can ask for documentation, conduct interviews, and request depositions and admissions. Of course, it’s important to remember that the defendant will be able to request the same things from you. Your attorney will help you in your injury case to respond to discovery requests appropriately.
Before the trial begins, both parties will have the chance to make motions, which is a request for the court to agree to something that is outside of the standard ligation process. One of the most common motions is “motions in limine,” which is a request that specific pieces of evidence be excluded from the trial. Other motions include motions to dismiss, or motions for summary judgment, which request that a judgment is made in favor of the moving party before the case goes to trial.
Once the discovery stage has completed and pre-trial motions have been filed, settlement talks can begin. Because trials can be very costly, it is common for personal injury cases to be settled out of court. Although this stage occurs before the trial stage, settlement talks can actually take place at any time before the jury verdict is given. If a settlement is reached, the case will be close, and no further stages will occur.
If a settlement is not reached before the trial stage, the case will be argued in front of the courts. Over the course of the trial, both the plaintiff and the defendant will have the opportunity to present evidence. The plaintiff’s goal will be to prove that they are entitled to damages, while the defendant will defend themselves against the allegations made by the plaintiff.
After the trial has concluded, a verdict will be delivered by either a judge or a jury. The verdict will determine whether or not the defendant is liable for damages. If the defendant is found to be liable, the damages owed will also be determined.
If either the defendant or the plaintiff believes that the delivered verdict is legally incorrect, they will have the opportunity to file an appeal.
The stages of a personal injury case are designed to bring a trial to a just resolution. It’s best to hire a skilled attorney that will be able to guide you through each of these stages.