It’s essential that you are aware of the steps that need to be taken when filing a personal injury lawsuit. Even if you have hired a personal injury lawyer to take care of your case, it is still critical that you know what actions they will take in pursuit of recovering compensation on your behalf.
Recovering compensation after a personal injury can be critical. You will likely face many financial challenges beyond expensive medical treatment, including lost wages. A personal injury lawyer can get started building your case today.
Finding a Personal Injury Lawyer
The first step you are going to want to take is to hire a personal injury lawyer. While you can pursue a lawsuit on your own, you likely will not recover nearly as much money for your damages as you would with the help of an experienced attorney. Even after paying their fee, you will likely walk home with far more money than you would if you represented yourself.
When hiring a personal injury attorney, it is essential to make sure they are a good fit. You need to find someone with a proven track record representing clients in situations similar to your own. Additionally, you want to find someone with whom you feel comfortable.
Investigating Your Case
After you hire a personal injury lawyer, they will get to work investigating your case. The aim of their investigation will be to determine who is liable for your damages and gather evidence to support your claim. In the course of their investigation, they will likely:
- Visit the site where you suffered your injury
- Speak to witnesses
- Confer with experts
- Obtain any accident reports
- Review your medical records
Assessing Your Damages
Once your personal injury attorney has completed their investigation, they will assess your damages and calculate the full value of your claim. Your attorney will then speak to you about the strength of your case and how much you might be able to recover.
They will inform you of your legal options and advise you about what path they think will be in your best interest. After you decide how you want to proceed, they will move forward with your case.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, your attorney will draw up all the necessary paperwork and ensure that it gets filed on time.
Your attorney will then go through all the steps of the pretrial process. This process includes:
- Discovery: The disclosure of information necessary to prepare a legal case between adverse parties
- Depositions: Recording of testimony from witnesses and parties involved in the accident
- Mediation: Negotiations between the two parties and their attorneys presided over by an impartial third party
If your case does not reach a settlement by the end of mediation, it will go to court. Your attorney will argue your case at trial on your behalf and work to get you the compensation you deserve.
Negotiating a Settlement
The majority of personal injury cases never make it to a courtroom. Instead, they are settled out-of-court. A settlement is often preferred by both parties because it means a quicker resolution to the case and avoiding the unpredictability of a courtroom battle.
While you could possibly recover more by going to court, it is unlikely to be enough money to be worth the added time and stress involved in a trial if you can reach a fair personal injury settlement deal instead.
After a court rules in your favor or a settlement deal is reached, you will have to wait for your compensation to be paid out. After a settlement deal is agreed upon, paperwork must be drawn up and reviewed by your attorney before you get paid. When a check gets written, other parties must first collect their piece of the settlement before you get paid.
For example, if your own insurance company covered your medical expenses while you awaited compensation, they will be reimbursed. Alternatively, if the hospital delayed billing you until your payout came in due to a medical lien, they will collect for their services.
After these parties have been paid, your attorney will collect their fee. Personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis, and their fee is assessed as a flat percentage of the money you recover. Finally, you will collect your portion of the payout. It typically takes around six weeks from the time a settlement is reached until the money arrives in your account.
Get a Free Consultation Today
At the Buzbee Law Firm, our team of experienced personal injury lawyers is ready to help you recover the compensation you need after an accident. We know how devastating a personal injury can be, and we will fight to get you the money you deserve to help you move on.
Give us a call or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation.