Personal injury lawsuits can be a jarring experience, especially since they’re right in the wake of an accident. What we are here to do is show that you don’t have to try and navigate this stressful time alone. Trying to get legal help might seem like a daunting experience at first, and while it isn’t a trip that anyone would look forward to taking, we’re here to make it go as smoothly as possible. The following are incidents that cover a personal injury case:
- Bicycle accidents
- Brain injury accidents
- Spinal cord injury
- Burn injury accidents
- Bus, car, and motorcycle (vehicle) accidents
- Underinsured/ Uninsured motorist
- Pedestrian accidents
- Construction accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- DUI accidents
- Dog bite injuries
- Uber accidents
- Elder abuse
- Wrongful death
If your situation fits into one or more of these categories, then you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. Though each case is different, the fundamental steps taken are as follows:
We will arrange a personal consultation to determine if our attorneys should accept the case presented. During this initial phase, the attorney’s goal is to obtain all details about the accident to better understand your situation. In addition, any medical treatment following the accident will be examined. With these bases covered, you will be informed of the representation agreement and potential costs.
The first main step in your lawsuit is submitting a claim. Your petition is the first document filed in your personal injury case, and clearly addresses all main points of your situation. This includes details of what is expected of the defendant, why the court has jurisdiction over the claim and clearly identifies all parties involved. Once the court issues a summons to the defendant, they must move to either have it dismissed, present a counter-claim or provide an answer to the summons.
If there are multiple parties in the lawsuit with their own disputes and discrepancies, we may present a cross-claim. Additional parties may also have to answer to a cross-claim in the case. Should the liability presented pass to another party, a third-party may have to answer a complaint.
It is a priority to uncover all facts and verify them during the discovery period of the injury case. We ensure to properly carry this out through organized documentation production and sworn statements.
Pretrial Court Motions
Two types of motions can be requested during this stage. A nondispositive motion, which requires an incidental question occurring during the litigation, and a dispositive motion which comes in various forms.
Motion to Dismiss
A motion to dismiss is sometimes filed in the early stages of litigation, but often occur after the discovery portion of the lawsuit. For this to happen, the defendant must believe that the complaint is legally invalid, and the court must view the information of your case in a way that is most favorable to you. There is more than one way to invoke a motion to dismiss, and are usually based on one of the following:
Summary Judgment Motion
When the key facts remain undisputed and fall in favor of one of the parties, this motion can pass to prevent trial. Since the purpose of a trial is to have someone decide what the facts are, there is no need to move forward with one if the facts are not in dispute.
Motion for Default Judgment
If the defendant fails to respond within the time limit specified in the summons, the defendant is in default. Being in default means that the defendant cannot question the dispute, and thus the court can rule in your favor.
To order a motion for dismissal, a judge must deem there is an issue with the lawsuit.
Settlements occur outside of the courtroom, skipping the need for a trial. Before accepting anything, it is recommended to consult with is to ensure fair compensation for loss and damages during this time.
Should a settlement not be an option, either through lack of agreement or offer, a trial will be set. In most states, a proper verdict requires a unanimous decision from a 12-person jury. In this situation, an opening statement, witness testimony, cross-examination and closing arguments will provide the information needed for the jury to reach their decision.
In an injury accident lawsuit, the losing party may have to pay for damages after the case has reached a verdict. Should the debtor refuse or claim they are unable to pay, a post-judgment discovery will be set in motion. To collect the money, an attorney needs to go through the varying options of payment available.
Should it be applicable, appeals are available upon request. Usually this is due to an error discovered within the trial, in which case any decisions made will be reversed.