Many personal injury clients want to know what to expect when they decide to hire an attorney and move forward with a personal injury lawsuit. While each case is different, the process of filing a lawsuit and moving a case through the civil court system is relatively standardized. It is important to note that the time that passes between each of the steps below can vary greatly, depending on the type of personal injury case you have, the number of cases a particular judge handles, and what delays (if any) your local courts are experiencing due to budget cuts, weather or other issues.
Step 1: Plaintiff files a Lawsuit.
Step 2: Plaintiff serves the defendant(s) with a lawsuit.
Step 3: Defendant(s) responds to the lawsuit.
Step 4: Parties conduct formal discovery, including written interrogatories, depositions, inspections and medical exams.
Step 5: Parties participate in settlement discussions, either informally or formally through mediation or settlement conferences.
Step 6: Trial preparation begins; witnesses are subpoenaed and experts prepare opinions.
Step 7: Trial begins; both sides present their evidence to support their theory of the case.
Step 8: Verdict is reached.
Step 9: Judgment is entered on the verdict.
Step 10: Appeals can be filed, if appropriate.
It is important to remember that in order to successfully win a personal injury lawsuit, you (the plaintiff) have to prove that the person who caused your injury (the defendant) was negligent, and his or her negligence caused your injuries.
Negligence is a complicated legal term that is used to describe the process the courts use to determine whether or not someone is legally responsible for the injuries you have suffered. Negligence is broken down into 4 parts:
- Duty of Care
- Breach of Duty of Care
Each part must be proven, in the order above, for someone to succeed in bringing a personal injury case. Your personal injury attorney can help you understand how each of these elements plays into your personal injury case, and what facts you will use to prove each element.
At The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., we focus our efforts exclusively on personal injury cases. We know the civil court system very thoroughly and are happy to answer any question you might have about what to expect in a personal injury lawsuit. Call us now.