A personal injury lawsuit, also known as tort law, is designed to compensate an injured victim for damages caused by another person’s actions or inaction. Though auto accidents are the basis for most personal injury lawsuits, they can also arise from medical malpractice and property liability incidents. If you’ve recently experienced an injury, it’s important to understand the process of a personal injury claim before you get started.
What to Expect From a Personal Injury Case
The first step of any personal injury case is to determine whether or not you have a case—that is, that an injury was caused by negligence. To do this, an injured victim must be able to show that he was injured, that someone was negligent in what led up to his injury, and that negligence was the direct cause of his injury. Once you determine the legitimacy of your case, you can expect to:
- Seek medical attention. This should be your first priority after suffering an injury. Getting medical attention gives credibility to your injury in the eyes of insurance companies, and it shows that you prioritize your healing.
- Hire an attorney. Since you’ll be working closely with this advocate to build a successful case, it’s important you find someone whose abilities and advice you trust.
- File the lawsuit. Your attorney will draft and submit all necessary documents and their filing fees to the court.
- Assist the lawyer with investigations. A lawyer accomplishes many tasks in the course of a personal injury suit, and you can assist by providing any documents requested and being truthful about your injury and the events leading up to it. Be sure to give complete and accurate details—and if you have photos, contact information for witnesses, or notes about what happened, know that your lawyer can use any information you give him.
- Let your attorney negotiate for you. When it’s time, both sides will present their case and request additional evidence or documentation—a process called discovery. During discovery, also, the other side may ask to record your official account of events and ask you additional questions, which is an interview called a deposition. Then, your attorney will use all information at hand to negotiate fair compensation for your injuries with the other side and the insurance companies.
- Go to trial. Only a handful of personal injury cases will go to trial; most end in settlement. However, if your case does go to trial, a judge and jury will decide on your case and determine the amount of your award.
When You Need an Attorney on Your Side
If you’ve recently experienced an injury and have questions about whether or not you can file a lawsuit, we are here to help. At the Cain Law Firm, we will listen to your story, help you better understand the details of your case, and walk you through the personal injury process if you have a case. To speak with us today, start a live online chat on our website.