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What is the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process?
When you have been injured in an accident, the future may seem uncertain. If your accident was the result of someone else’s negligence, it is vital to contact a legal professional as soon as possible.
Finding an accomplished attorney that knows how to fight a personal injury lawsuit will give you the best chance of securing compensation.
Most people have little experience with the process of a personal injury lawsuit, which means that victims may be unsure about how to hire a personal injury lawyer or how to seek financial recovery.
In the following article, we will discuss the personal injury lawsuit process. When you need the best personal injury attorneys in the Atlanta area, we can help. At Morgan & Morgan, our team of legal professionals will fight for you. For a free case consultation, call our offices at 877-667-4265 or submit a contact form online.
How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
When you have been injured because of another person’s carelessness, you have the right to seek financial compensation. Victims should not bear the financial burdens from their accidents alone.
But the legal system is incredibly complex. It requires specialized knowledge to know how to win a personal injury lawsuit. Because of this, it is crucial to hire a skilled injury attorney to represent you.
There are many forms to complete and deadlines to meet throughout the legal process. Your attorney will ensure that your injury claim meets all of the legal requirements.
In addition to filing legal paperwork, an injury lawyer will:
- Consult with expert witnesses
- Obtain evidence
- Speak with witnesses to the accident
- Build sound legal arguments
- And more
An accomplished attorney will know how to fight a personal injury lawsuit successfully. During your initial consultation, a legal professional can help you to determine the likelihood of success in your case.
Steps in the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process
Successfully pursuing a personal injury claim involves taking the right actions immediately after your accident. Below, we will discuss the standard steps in the process of a personal injury suit.
Seek Medical Treatment
Immediately after your injury or accident, you should seek a medical assessment. This is true even if you are not severely injured.
If you believe that there is a possibility that you have sustained an injury, consult with a medical professional. This is important for your health and for the success of any resulting personal injury lawsuit.
Many victims do not realize that they are injured until days or weeks after their accident. For instance, suppose that you are involved in a car crash. You may feel fine in the moments after the collision. But some conditions do not produce symptoms later on.
It is important to get a medical assessment right after your accident to determine whether you sustained any injuries. If you assume that you are fine and do not seek medical attention, an insurance provider may use that fact to dismiss your claim.
Tips on How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
While some very minor claims do not require legal representation, it is usually a good idea for victims to speak with an attorney.
Most victims do not know how to find the right injury lawyer for them. Look for the injury attorneys with the best reviews in your area.
It is vital to find an attorney that has the experience necessary to win a case like yours. Make sure that the lawyer you hire has a track record of fighting for personal injury victims and securing large settlements.
When you are learning how to hire a personal injury lawyer, look for attorneys that offer free consultations. This will give you a chance to ask clarifying questions and get a sense of the attorney’s qualifications.
Finally, find an attorney or firm that is paid using contingency fees. Cost is always a concern for victims who need legal representation. A contingency fee payment structure means that your lawyer will not get paid until they win or settle your case. In other words, they do not get paid unless you do.
Your Attorney Will Interview You
Before filing your lawsuit, your attorney will want to learn everything they can about your accident and injuries. This will involve:
- Asking questions to gain a comprehensive understanding of your situation
- Reviewing your medical records and treatment
- Assessing your medical billing
When an attorney is determining how to fight a personal injury lawsuit effectively, they need all of the facts that are available. Make sure to answer your lawyer’s questions as truthfully and completely as possible.
Demands and Negotiations
Once your attorney has all of the information they need, they will decide what demands to make. Smaller personal injury cases often settle without the need to file a lawsuit.
A “settlement” is an agreement reached by both sides of a legal dispute. Settlements are typically more cost-effective and convenient than litigation.
Your attorney will contact the other party or their insurer to state your claim and demands. Usually, lawyers do not make demands until the victim has recovered from their injuries as much as possible. This helps the attorney to better estimate the value of the personal injury claim.
Your attorney may demand compensation for damages like:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Property damage
- Loss of income
- Loss of long-term earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of relationship or consortium (in wrongful death cases)
After demands are made, the other party in the dispute will respond. This begins the negotiation phase.
If negotiations are successful, both sides will agree to a settlement. Again, most personal injury cases are settled before going to trial.
Filing a Lawsuit
If negotiations fail, your attorney will file a lawsuit and the litigation process will begin. Once you file the lawsuit, the courts will set the date of the trial.
Before the trial takes place, the lawsuit will enter the discovery phase. The process of “discovery” gives each side a chance to view the other party’s argument and claims. The discovery process may last up to a year.
Once discovery is complete, your case will go to trial. Trial dates are subject to the schedules of the courts. They are often postponed, even after a date has been set.
An accomplished injury attorney understands how to fight a personal injury lawsuit effectively. At the trial, your attorney will present strong legal arguments on your behalf.
They will provide evidence to show that the other side is legally liable for the damages that you sustained.
Once both sides have presented their arguments, the jury will deliberate and reach a verdict.