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What are the stages of a personal injury lawsuit?

Personal Injury FormFiling a lawsuit to be compensated for a personal injury may sound complicated to many people.  Not knowing what to expect can cause stress and anxiety.  That is the last thing you need.  In reality, the process is pretty cut and dry.  Here is a breakdown of what you can expect.

The very first step is to find a good attorney.  You’ll meet with that person and go over your case.  It is imperative to bring all documentation and evidence with you that you have so the attorney can become familiar with what has happened to you.  Your attorney will then file the necessary papers with the court.  Your attorney should go over each aspect of the case with you and answer your questions.  Make sure you are comfortable with the attorney you have chosen.

When the paperwork has been filed, there is a fact finding or discovery phase where each party sees the evidence and documentation of the other.  This puts everyone on the same page.  Sometimes when each party sees the other parties’ documentation, there is a resolution before the case goes to trial.  Either it is determined there isn’t enough to win the lawsuit or the defendant will offer a settlement.  The attorneys will file a motion in court to stop the case prior to trial.  It is a fact that more cases are settled out of court than those that proceed to trial.  If the case goes to trial, you should be aware it is not like the trials you see on TV.  Real cases are not decided in an hour.  These cases can be long and drawn out.

So, the trail is over and you were victorious!  Don’t celebrate too soon.  Winning and then collecting your compensation are two different things.  Many times it is necessary to go back to court to collect.  It can be a long road until you start seeing any compensation.  If you were unsuccessful in your lawsuit, there is always the appeal process.  Of course, if you won, the other party can appeal their loss as well.  This is another reason these cases go on and on.

Remember when considering a personal injury lawsuit that even though you have a lawyer representing you in court, it is always a good idea to learn as much as you can about the process.  It’s your future at stake.