What To Expect During A Personal Injury Lawsuit In Harlem And Beyond

December 19, 2023

Not everyone decides to file a personal injury lawsuit after a serious accident.

Some avoid pursuing the case because of the tedious process, and others don’t even know where to begin. Therefore, this blog is written for the latter slot of individuals to help them understand the journey of taking legal action. 

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

The following steps are all part of the personal injury lawsuit process. Keep reading to get a better idea of what to expect before, during, and after you file a claim.

Meeting with a Personal Injury Attorney

In the event that you find yourself injured due to another person’s negligence, get in touch with a personal injury attorney immediately after seeking medical attention. Why? Your lawyer will provide you with their valuable input and tell you whether you are eligible to seek a claim. Your case will be established based on relevant medical records and notes you have prepared regarding your accident. Don’t worry about the meeting fees; most lawyers offer a free no-obligation consultation. 

Assessing Your Personal Injury Attorney

Hiring a competent lawyer determines your loss or win in the case. You are allowed to question your lawyer about their expertise, years of experience, whether they have successfully handled similar cases, and what policies they follow while communicating with their client.

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In the first few meetings, the attorney will ask you as many questions as possible to understand your case perfectly. A good lawyer will need time to go through your case piece by piece to ensure you receive a fair outcome. You can schedule a few free consultations if you’d like to compare before you commit to a lawyer.

Understanding Your Attorney’s Payment Method

In most cases, you can expect your attorney to charge you once they have won the case. Lawyer’s fees are based on the percentage of the total compensation their client receives from the opposite party. Upon hiring a particular lawyer, you will be given a client contract to sign that states the exact attorney fees. If you still have questions concerning the lawyer’s fees, then feel free to ask them for further explanation.

Having Your Case Investigated

One of the critical steps of the whole procedure is your case’s investigation. Your attorney will investigate the case in-depth to understand how and where were you injured, with damages and costs. They will then contact the insurance company or the lawyer who is representing the opposition, the person responsible for your current situation. Your lawyer should constantly keep you in the communication loop to update you regarding new advancements throughout the procedure. Your main focus should be to return to your normal life as soon as possible. 

Discovery Period

The legal process involves a discovery phase where both parties exchange relevant information. This includes documents, witness statements, and any other evidence that can impact the case. The thoroughness of this process contributes to the strength of your legal position, ensuring that all pertinent details are brought to light.

Settling the Case Before Court

Sometimes cases can be settled before dragging them to court. How? Your lawyer will assess your options and work on reaching a fair settlement with the responsible party’s insurance company. They will update you regarding whatever amount has been decided and eventually, you can accept the settlement. 

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR):

Before heading to court, alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration may be explored. These approaches offer a less formal setting for resolving disputes, allowing for more flexible solutions. A skilled attorney will assess the viability of ADR, considering factors like time, cost, and the potential for a favorable outcome.

Going to Court

If a settlement isn’t achievable, your lawyer will proceed to file a lawsuit, initiating the court phase. Here, a judge establishes deadlines for each stage of the personal injury lawsuit, a process that can extend from months to years depending on the case.

The Complaint and Answer Step

The Complaint and Answer step is fundamental. In a personal injury case, the complaint is where you, the injured party (plaintiff), describe your injuries and the harm you suffered (damages). The defendant, the party you blame for your injuries, then has 30 days to respond with an answer. In this answer, they must either admit or deny causing your injuries.

Hopefully, this has given you a good peek into the personal injury lawsuit process so that you can make an informed decision before filing a claim.

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