Personal injury lawsuits can cover a large array of experiences. The following incidents are covered by a personal injury case:
If one or more of these occurrences fit your predicament, it is very possible that you can file a personal injury lawsuit. While steps may vary, this is the typical process for a personal injury lawsuit:
Consultation is important to determine if our attorneys should accept the case. It is during this time that the client tells the details of the incident to the attorney. Afterwards, the potential attorney will gather medical treatment details and inquire about potential witnesses before informing you of the representation agreement along with the potential costs that may be involved.
The complaint or petition is the first document filed in a personal injury case. This document identifies all parties involved, states the legal reasons why the court has jurisdiction over the case, details the claims, presents facts used to reach each claim and clearly states what is expected from the defendant. A summons is then presented by the court to notify the defendant of the actions. The defendant must then seek to have the case dismissed, provide an answer to the summons or present a counterclaim.
At times a cross-claim may be presented when there are numerous parties to the lawsuit with their own disputes. Particular parties may also have to answer to a cross-claim in this case. A third-party complaint may also have to be answered if the liability presented is passed to another party.
All facts presented are verified and hidden factors are uncovered during the discovery segment of a personal injury case. This is done through document production and sworn statements called depositions.
Pretrial Court Motions
A dispositive and nondispositive motion are the two types of motions that can be requested during this time. A nondispositive motion relies on a question occurring litigation, while the following dispositive motions are requested during a case:
Motion to Dismiss
A motion to dismiss is filed after the discovery portion of a lawsuit. It is based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction (the court is not allowed to rule on the case), lack of personal jurisdiction (the court cannot judge the defendant), improper venue (the lawsuit needs to be transferred to another state), insufficiency of process or insufficient service of process (improper service of complaint and summons) and failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted (insufficient proof of plaintiff’s responsibility).
Summary Judgement Motion
When the facts are undisputed and thereby seem rule in favor of one of the parties, we can pass this motion to prevent trial.
Motion for Default Judgement
If the defendant fails to respond to the summons, the court can rule in favor of the plaintiff.
A judge issues this motion for dismissal if there are errors within the lawsuit.
Personal injury lawsuits are often resolved with a settlement outside of court. Consult with us to ensure fair compensation for loss and damages during this time.
A trial will be set if a settlement is not agreed upon or offered. In this situation, the typical order of opening statements, witness testimony and cross-examination, closing arguments, jury instruction and the deliberation and verdict are issued. Many states require a unanimous decision from a 12-person jury to reach a proper verdict.
The losing party in a personal injury case may have to pay monetary damages after a case is decided. At post-judgement discovery may have to occur if the debtor refuses to pay or claims that they are unable to pay. An attorney is needed to perform the various options of collecting money from an individual or business.
Appeals are available upon request; case proceedings are reviewed for errors of law during this time. The decision may be reversed if a significant error is found to have occurred during the trial.