Most personal injury cases are settled out of court by the insurance companies, but there are times when you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit when a settlement agreement cannot be reached.
Filing litigation claims can be complicated and burdensome. It can be especially difficult for those who do not entirely understand the law or the legal process. If you have been injured in an accident and want to learn more about filing a personal injury lawsuit, read more to understand more about the process.
What is Litigation?
Let’s begin by explaining what litigation is and how it will affect your injury claim. Litigation is not just about filing a lawsuit. It describes the entire legal process from the point of filing the initial complaint with the court and notifying the defendant. It involves all legal proceedings, discovery, motions and other complex steps, each with their own set of rules, that are involved after filing the lawsuit. These are just some of the more common challenges you will face when litigating a personal injury case.
Personal injury cases are generally categorized by how fault is determined:
- Strict liability
A person may face different challenges depending on which category their case falls under. They will need to have the necessary evidence and documents that prove the defendant’s liability. Proving liability, who is at fault, and how, are some of the primary challenges a litigant will face. This can become even more complicated when multiple parties are involved in a case or if you are also partially responsible for the accident.
You should consult with an experienced attorney who is well-equipped with knowledge of the law and legal proceedings. A knowledgeable attorney will help you smoothly navigate the process with confidence. Having a legal professional by your side will also ensure you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
What are the critical elements of personal injury cases?
Following are the key elements of personal injury litigation:
- Discovery: This is the stage of collecting and gathering evidence and all necessary documentation, including asking and answering questions under sworn oath. At this stage, both parties can demand proof and evidence from the other party, and each party must disclose relevant evidence unless otherwise protected by law. The discovery stage can take months or even years to complete. Your trial date may be pushed until discovery is complete. At this stage, a knowledgeable attorney will develop a strategy, including whether to continue to trial or seek alternatives.
- Motions: A motion is a written question for the presiding judge to decide that effects the case. Motions may be filed for a variety of reasons, such as a pre-trial motion to dismiss, which asks the court to determine whether the complaint is legally valid. Motions can also be filed to compel evidence from the other party, receive a summary judgment, or to exclude experts and other witnesses, and for a variety of other reasons.
- Expert witnesses: This is a witness who is typically a professional with a specialized skill set whose opinion may help explain evidence in a case. They usually testify or defend the claim in the courtroom, as well as by authoring official reports and studies, such as psychological evaluations. They will give their opinion on what could be the causes or effects of your injury event. It is important to understand how an expert witness may be treated differently by the court than a lay or eye-witness.
- Hearings and trials: You may ultimately have to go all the way to trial. Your lawyer will start preparing for claims and litigations right after the lawsuit is filed. The number of hearings needed will differ depending on the case, but at the trial stage, which is the main hearing, the judge will give a final judgment. You will learn whether you lose the case or will be compensated for your damages. You must prepare yourself and gather all necessary evidence to present to the court and defend it against your opponent.
- Trial: The trial and the final day of judgment plays a very crucial role. Your attorney will assist you throughout the process, and the judge will give its decision based on the evidence and proof presented at trial.
We are prone to facing many types of injuries, losses, and damages due to others’ negligence. It is best to discuss details with a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer immediately after receiving initial medical help after the accident. Your attorney can help you with auto accidents, medical malpractice, dog bite cases, sexual assault, slip and fall cases, and many more. You can concentrate on your health while they fight for your rights.