Each personal injury case is different and unique, with very particular circumstances of each accident. Hiring an attorney specializing in the area is crucial to being able to navigate the legal system that can be so confusing. With the support and guidance of the lawyer, you will have greater chances of obtaining justice and compensation that will help you resolve all the expenses derived from this situation.
Below, we'll provide an overview of how a personal injury case unfolds and what you can expect at each stage of the process.
Meet with an attorney. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Within this consultation, the attorney will review the circumstances of the accident and ask the victim several questions to obtain information and determine the strength of the case. If the lawyer decides to take your case – which usually happens once they determine that the case can proceed – they will explain the procedure and ask for signatures and documents to start working.
A complaint is filed, and the respondent is served. Once the attorney determines that there is a legitimate case, the attorney files a demand letter with the appropriate court. Through this letter, it is requested that the responsible party compensate the victim for the damages suffered. There are people who, from this moment, can try to reach an agreement and avoid continuing with a legal procedure. Otherwise, the victim's lawyer must ensure that the defendant physically receives the corresponding documents, which mention the date and time in which he must appear in court.
Discovery stage. In this part, the evidence must be presented to help show that a tort was committed against the victim due to the negligence of the other party. The defendant may also present his evidence, witnesses, and anything else that may be of use to his defense.
Agreement. After the discovery stage, the responsible person has a second opportunity to propose to reach an agreement. Again, the victim's lawyer will carry out the negotiations to protect his client's interests.
Trial. In the event that the parties cannot reach an agreement, then a trial will be held in court, where a judge will decide how the case should be resolved and if the victim should receive compensation.