As scary as it might sound, the truth is you are always at a risk of some kind of injury at any given time. From jaywalking accidents to slipping or getting hit by a car, the possibilities are endless. As much as you try to protect yourself from this seemingly imminent danger, sometimes it is just inevitable.
Your best bet is to understand what to do next if an accident befalls you. It would be bad enough if you get into an unfortunate accident, but it would be even worse if the responsible person or party walks free. You need to have general knowledge about personal injury lawsuits and how they work. This is why we’ve gathered information to help you better understand the process of such lawsuits.
Hiring a Specialized Lawyer
This will be the first and most important step. You want to have an experienced lawyer on your side who will legally represent you in lawsuits. You should not wait until you need one to search for the right lawyer; you can start now by asking friends and acquaintances for referrals.
If, for example, you live in Oakland, California in the US, you should check out these professionals that specialize in all kinds of personal injury lawsuits and vow relentlessly to pursue justice for victims and their families. Hiring the right lawyer will take you almost halfway towards receiving the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Investigating the Case
Your lawyer will start work by collecting all the case-relevant information. You can make their work easier by providing them with all the information you might have. If, for example, you got into a car accident, make sure you take pictures of any damage done to your car and any resulting injuries to your body.
If your injuries do not allow you to take photos, ask any bystander around to help you with that. If you have to be hospitalized, your lawyer will need all medical bills and reports that prove that they resulted from the car crash. It is also advised to take a copy from the police report about the accident, and collect all the information you can about the police officer, like their name and the vehicle number.
Part of your lawyer’s job will be to find witnesses to testify on your behalf and strengthen your case should the lawsuit go to trial. All of these documents will have a huge impact on getting you a fair settlement.
Filing the Lawsuit
Once your lawyer is done with the investigation phase, the next step will be to file for a personal injury lawsuit. This step involves your lawyer notifying your opponent that you are suing them, and informing them of the damages you want to be compensated for.
Just like you collected evidence to support your complaint, your opponent has definitely done the same. At this stage, both parties present all the evidence they have in front of the court. This can be a lengthy process since there is a chance that important evidence is being withheld or even destroyed.
Uncovering evidence can take up to one year without any real progress, which you might find very frustrating. However, you will have no other option but to trust your experienced lawyer and wait patiently.
Getting Into Negotiations
You might be lucky to get your desired settlement without the need to negotiate. However, personal injury lawsuits can drag for a considerable amount of time, which is why this phase is very important, as both parties start negotiating to reach a settlement outside of court.
Once you are done with any medical treatments for injuries related to the accident, your lawyer can correctly assess the financial burden you had to endure throughout your treatment and have an accurate figure of what your opponent should pay at settlement.
Lawyers specialized in personal injury lawsuits know that a staggering number of such lawsuits will go unresolved, so they will try their best to reach an agreement with the opponent at this stage.
Resolving to Trial
If your lawyer and the opponents could not reach an agreement, your personal injury lawsuit will have to be tried in front of a jury.
After studying the evidence presented by both parties, the jury will have the final say regarding the amount of compensation you shall be entitled to if it finds your opponent to be guilty.
The process of personal injury lawsuits is almost the same in nature to other lawsuits; however, details of the lawsuits will vary greatly according to the type of accident in question. In all cases, you will want to make sure you have the best, experienced lawyers to represent you regardless of the magnitude of the case.
After all, neither you nor your loved ones should have to worry about financial compensation at a time of trauma.