What Happens If My Personal Injury Accident Claim Goes To Court?
Anyone who suffers an injury can make use of the state's legal system to get justice. This would be in the form of compensation for all the physical, financial, and emotional losses suffered. It is typically facilitated through an insurance settlement or a court order.
Unfortunately, things don't always go smoothly in personal injury cases. When this happens, it will be necessary to engage an attorney specializing in these cases. Even if a case might not go to court, it is advisable to engage a personal injury attorney in your place of residence from the get-go. Reliable and experienced lawyers working at top law firms are your best bet to achieve the outcome you desire. Websites of top law firms, such as MHatty.com, will have information pertaining to experienced lawyers and how their counsel can prove to be invaluable in guiding you toward getting the compensation you deserve. Should things go wrong with getting it, they can step in and represent you, such as in mediation with the other party.
What Happens If The Case Goes To Court
If the compensation you expect is not forthcoming for one reason or another, your personal injury attorney will file a case in court. This will be done in the concerned county civil court. It is essential to know that in states like Alabama, for instance, there is a statute of limitations of two years, after which a personal injury case cannot be filed. It is, therefore, essential to avoid delays.
The following will happen when a case goes to court:
- Response To Filed Case
After a case has been filed, your attorney will ensure notification of the same is sent to the defendant. They will be given a stipulated time frame by which to respond. They will do so through written communication which may be an email or official letter.
This will be followed by discovery. This is the most time-consuming, labor-intensive, and costly part of the pre-trial process. It is where both parties carry out their investigations to find evidence to support their claims and counterclaims. This could include interrogatories, where written questions are answered under oath, and depositions, where verbal questions are answered, also under oath.
Discovery could also include conducting interviews with certified experts, looking for physical evidence, lining up credible witnesses, and examining the evidence the other party has. It could also involve going over documents related to the accident, such as police and medical records.
- Settlement Discussions
As both parties prepare for trial, something else will be going on, and that is settlement discussions. They are held with the hope that an agreement will be reached and will eliminate the need for a trial. Interestingly, some cases are settled just a short time before a case begins for the sake of avoiding a long and costly court case.
Defendants sometimes choose to settle to save their reputation. Additionally, a defendant may choose to settle because over 90% of cases that go to trial are decided in favor of the plaintiff.
Cases may also be settled out of court through mediators. Many courts require that both parties meet with one another before a trial date is set. Also, some insurance agreements have a clause where an attempt has to be made to settle disputes through arbitration. It is similar to mediation, except a neutral third party is involved.
- Trial Begins
If an agreement cannot be reached out of court, the case will go to trial. It will start with opening statements from both parties and then the presentation of evidence and cross-examination of the same by the questioning of witnesses presenting it. It will close with both parties giving their closing statements and articulating the ruling they hope the court will provide.
- Deliberation And Verdict
The judge or jury will then deliberate and arrive at a verdict. It may be given the same day, a few days later, or even a few weeks later. It will detail why the verdict was reached and then announce the relief granted. This will typically be in the form of monetary compensation to be paid by the insurance company or defendant.
No Settling For Less
With an experienced legal professional fighting for you, you will not have to settle for less. You will get a fair amount in compensation for the injuries and damages you have suffered. The firms, which are on the list of the top 100 national trial lawyers, have recovered several hundreds of millions for clients.
They can even probably start with a free consultation that will inform the next course of action. You only need to fill out an online form on some law firms’ websites; the dedicated attorneys will take it from there. For the convenience of clients, many firms are also present in different locations within a state. Contact a reliable law firm and get the compensation you deserve.