A General Timeline for Personal Injury Lawsuits
When people come to Joe Horrox Law for legal help, they know that they have one of the leading attorneys in Palm Coast and Daytona Beach on their side. With years of experience in personal injury lawsuits and litigation, our team can help you through even the most complex of legal issues.
A number of clients ask us what to expect during the legal process, which can be confusing since it can take many months, or even years. Let's provide a basic timeline of personal injury cases so you understand the different steps involved.
Seek Medical Attention
Following the initial injury or accident, the injury victim seeks medical attention for the harm that has been caused. This is imperative in that it ensures a person gets the help needed as soon as possible, and this also establishes an injury really did happen. Failure to seek medical attention soon after an injury or accident may signal to the insurance adjuster that there was no actual injury that occurred.
Seek Out Legal Assistance
The next step in the phase is to seek the help of a personal injury lawyer. Your attorney can help determine the best course of action moving forward. Ideally this should happen soon after you have sustained your injury since the legal process can take time.
The Attorney Investigates the Legal Claim
Your attorney will conduct an interview with you to determine the exact cause of the accident and what transpired with regard to the injury.
Reviewing Medical Records
In addition to interviewing a client about the injury sustained, an attorney will also examine all of the medical records and medical bills associated with the injury to determine if you have a viable legal claim to make.
Insurance Claims and Negotiating a Settlement
Next, the lawyer will file a claim with the insurance company associated with the at-fault party. A claim's adjuster will then examine the claim and perhaps negotiate a settlement. This occurs when insurance companies are involved. If no insurance companies are involved, a legal document requesting settlement to cover injuries may be sent.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
When a settlement cannot be reached, a lawsuit is then filed. This will involve the filing of a complaint or petition, and serving the at-fault party with legal papers. At this point, claims and counterclaims can be issued, which we've previously covered on this blog.
The Discovery Process in the Lead Up to Trial
The discovery process allows the legal representative for the plaintiff and defendant to seek evidence and build their respective cases. This includes examining evidence, speaking with witnesses, and so forth. This process can take months and even up to a year depending on the nature of the accident/incident.
Mediation and Negotiation
Before going to trial and as the discovery process winds down, there is usually one last opportunity for a legal settlement to be reached. This helps avoid the need to go to trial, and a mutually beneficial arrangement may be negotiated between the plaintiff and defendant in these cases.
The Trial Phase
The vast majority of cases are settled out of court in the mediation phase, but if a settlement cannot be arranged, the personal injury case will then go to trial. Trials can take time to schedule, they can take a long time to reach resolution as well. The length of your trial can be weeks or perhaps months, though your attorney will be able to help you throughout this ordeal.
Learn More About Personal Injury Law
For more information about your legal rights and options after a serious accident, it's important that you contact a skilled personal injury attorney today. The legal team at Joe Horrox Law is here on your side to help you.