The personal injury lawsuit process can be complex and stressful. If you or a loved one have been hurt due to another party’s negligence, carelessness, or reckless conduct, an accident attorney can fight to get you compensated. Filing a lawsuit and reaching a settlement can involve the following steps:
Consulting with a Personal Injury Attorney
Once you’ve been injured by an at-fault party and have sought medical treatment, it’s time for a consultation with an experienced lawyer. This first meeting enables you to evaluate their expertise and obtain a professional opinion about your claim. A claim may be declined or referred to another attorney. You must provide accurate answers to the lawyer’s questions and have medical records, police reports, and other relevant documentation.
Hiring a Lawyer
If you accept the recommended course of action and attorney’s fees, hiring the lawyer is likely your next step. Many accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay until a settlement is reached. Lawyer’s fees are often based on a percentage of how much money is recovered. The exact percentage and fee amount are identified in the contract.
Your lawyer will review your case and extent and cost of the damage and injuries. They may contact the attorney representing the defendant. In addition, they’ll get in touch with your insurance company, handling all communications and negotiations along the way. Your attorney will keep you informed on the progress of the case.
Filing a Complaint
The complaint identifies the defendant’s actions. Your attorney must locate the defendant and serve the complaint on them, delivering it to ensure proof they’re informed of the lawsuit. The service papers also state when and where the defendant is to appear in court.
The Defendant Engages in the Legal Process
Before their scheduled court date, the defendant will have an opportunity to find a defense attorney. The defendant must also notify their insurance company, which can supply and pay for a lawyer. Unlike accident lawyers, defense attorneys work for an hourly fee, which the defendant pays out-of-pocket.
Discovery involves your attorney sending questions (interrogatories) to the defendant or submitting a request for documents. Sworn statements (depositions) may be taken by both sides. Consultations with accident reconstruction and/or medical experts can help better understand the case.
Include discovery, depositions, and appearances in court, during which both sides discuss the case with a judge. Mediation and arbitration are available options at this stage. A trial date may be set. Settlement negotiations may be ongoing and continue even if the case goes to trial. Once a plaintiff makes a demand for compensation, the defendant can reply with an offer; this exchange can go back-and-forth several times.
Your attorney presents evidence to the judge and jury. The party who injured you presents their defense. A trial determines whether the defendant is liable and how much they must pay you. Once a verdict is given, the defense can appeal it and ask a higher court to reconsider the decision.
Lawsuit Funding and the Legal Process
Personal injury trials often last a few days, but receiving a settlement can take years. Most lawsuits settle before going to trial. A variety of factors can affect your financial situation in the interim, and even put your entire case at risk. Lawsuit Cash 24/7 can provide legal funding in Los Angeles to support your financial needs while a case is ongoing. Apply online for pre-settlement funding now or call 866-318-3002 at any time.