If you have been in an accident, you are probably curious about how you will be compensated for your injuries. It is important to understand the personal injury claims process, when it leads to a lawsuit, and how that lawsuit will play out. It can be helpful to know this information so that you have a full understanding of why a personal injury attorney is so important.
Getting a Personal Injury Lawyer
Your first step in the claims process is to hire a personal injury attorney to represent you. The attorney will ask you many questions about the circumstances of the accident, including events before, during, and after. They will also ask you for all of your related medical records and medical bills so that they can begin to calculate the appropriate compensation amount.
Good personal injury lawyers do not take money up front. The consultation is free, and they are paid if and when you win. They usually take a percentage of the awarded amount, which is determined and agreed upon during your consultation.
Initial Settlement Negotiations
Before filing a personal injury lawsuit, your attorney will attempt to negotiate a settlement. Depending on the type of accident you had, there may or may not be an insurance company involved. If so, the attorney will work closely with that insurance agency to try to achieve a reasonable settlement. If that is impossible or if the defendant will not agree to a settlement, the attorney will file an actual lawsuit.
The Personal Injury Lawsuit Process
If your attorney decides that you need to file a lawsuit, there will be a certain process that they must follow. The following steps must be completed in order:
- File the Complaint with the courts.
- Discovery, which is when the attorneys for both sides share information
- Pretrial motions are requests of the court that are presented before the case goes to trial. These motions can shape how the trial will take place and what will be included.
- Mediation and another attempt at settlement
- Trial, ending in dismissal or award
If you are looking for a good personal injury attorney, we will be more than happy to answer all of your questions about the personal injury claims process. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.