A personal injury lawsuit results when a plaintiff experiences serious harm or injury due to the actions of others and decides to pursue a claim for monetary compensation against the responsible party, and no settlement can be reached with the insurance company.
After a severe injury, you likely have a lot to contend with in addition to healing:
- Medical bills
- Lost income from being out of work
- Emotional stress
- The general upheaval of your daily routine
More often than not, insurance companies of the opposite party often refuse to offer fair monetary compensation through informal negotiation. If both parties cannot agree during pre-litigation, the injured party can potentially file a lawsuit to seek appropriate compensation. Personal injury lawsuits allow injured parties to advocate for their rights as well as their financial futures that were potentially impacted by the reckless behavior of others.
The most common types of events that result in a personal injury lawsuit include:
- Vehicle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Uber & Lyft accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Trip and fall accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Wrongful death
Car accidents are among the most common types of accidents in personal injury cases. These accidents will frequently occur when a driver is negligent by driving under the influence or while participating in distracted or aggressive driving.
As mentioned, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to offer a settlement soon after your accident. At times, this settlement may seem like a large payout, but the chances of it covering your long-term needs is unlikely. For this reason, we recommend learning the steps involved with a personal injury lawsuit and knowing what to expect if you decide to pursue litigation. Below we outline the steps that a personal injury lawsuit pursuant can expect when starting the process.
Step 1: Meet with a Personal Injury Attorney & Evaluate If They Are the Best Fit
It is wise to consult an experienced Pasadena personal injury attorney. They can give you a professional opinion on whether or not you have a valid claim. We suggest that potential clients bring any supporting documentation, medical records, and notes about their situation to the initial consultation. We want to stress that having the right attorney on your side can mean the difference between winning and losing the case. In your initial meeting, you should ask the attorney about their level of experience, case track record, client communication policy, as well as determining how your attorney will get paid to represent you. Typically, most personal injury attorneys are paid on a contingency basis. This means there is no fee paid out to them unless your case is successful. If you are awarded any compensation, the attorney’s fee is based on a percentage of the total monetary recovery.
Step 2: Hiring Your Attorney
Once you have decided on the best attorney for your particular case, they will begin the research on your case to fully understand how you were injured as well as the extent of your injuries, and the cost associated with the damages. In this phase, they will get into contact with the other party’s insurance company and possibly the other attorney as well. Your attorney should always be sure that you are aware of any negotiations and significant developments throughout the case.
Step 3: Settling Your Case vs. Filing Suit In Court
There is a good chance that your claim could be resolved before a lawsuit is even filed. In the investigation process, your attorney will gather what they need to negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company. In some cases, the insurance company will make a settlement offer, and your attorney will use their professional opinion to determine if this is the best offer to compensate for your time and injuries. If an appropriate settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will begin the process of filing a lawsuit. Once the filing is complete, a judge in your district will set a deadline for each phase of the lawsuit. Depending on how complex a case is, this process can take anywhere from a few months to years.
Step 4: Going To Trial
In the event that your claim is not resolved before a lawsuit is filed, the next step is to go to trial. At trial, both parties present evidence to support their claims to the judge or jury. Each party has the opportunity to call witnesses or introduce documents in support of its arguments. Once each party has presented all of their evidence, the parties will give their closing arguments. After closing arguments, the jury then deliberates and reaches a decision or verdict.
If you have questions about your chances of winning a personal injury case, our GBG lawyers can determine the legal option you have based on the details of your case through our complimentary case evaluation. We will also tell you what assistance we can provide to increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Click here for our complete guide to hiring a personal injury lawyer.