What Are the Steps to Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
You may be wondering what to do after suffering injuries in an accident. If you are thinking about filing a personal injury claim and want to understand the legal process, the lawyers at Colley & Colley, LLP will help you every step of the way in pursuing the compensation you deserve.
Recovering a settlement can be a complicated process. To help you understand what to expect, the following guideline can be useful.
Preliminary Consultation and Evaluation
At our first meeting, we will go over everything that happened that led to your accident and the details in the aftermath. We will evaluate the documentation you have, such as medical records, police reports, insurance information, and a list of witnesses that can help us determine the strategy to move forward.
Summons and Complaint and the Initial Court Filings
We will file a summons and complaint with the courts to begin the process. You become the plaintiff and the negligent party becomes the defendant. Summons and complaint filings give the courts and the opposing party notice that you were injured and are pursuing full compensation for your injuries and any property damage, which includes medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and any other losses you have suffered.
Evidence Collection and the Discovery Phase
To prepare for negotiations and trial, we will thoroughly investigate, examine, and gather as much evidence as we can. Any additional witnesses, re-enactments of the accident, insurance and inspection reports, and photographs will help us build a strong case to prove fault and cause.
In the discovery phase, both sides will ask for evidence from the other. If there are any conflicts, the judge will make the decision on whether evidence must be turned over.
Mediation and Negotiation Stage
During the litigation of your case, mediation and negotiation can happen at any time.
The negotiation stage is when we will aggressively fight to secure the best outcome, seeking to recover maximum compensation for your case. If mediation is unsuccessful, then we will continue to prepare your case for trial.
Settlements and Verdicts
A financial payment that is guaranteed is a settlement. The majority of our personal injury cases do not go to trial because a settlement is agreed upon during the negotiation phase.
Once a settlement is accepted between you and the opposing party’s insurance company, the settlement is final. You will no longer have the right to seek additional legal recourse relating to both the accident and your injuries after accepting a settlement.
If your case goes to trial, the financial reward awarded by a judge or jury verdict is not 100 percent guaranteed. You and the defendant have the right to appeal a trial verdict. Through an appeal, the original verdict amount can be reduced or increased.