Although each case is different, the following is a general overview of several steps in a personal injury claim:
- Consultation with a lawyer. After an accident, you need to consult with an experienced attorney about the specific circumstances of your case, such as determining negligence, the extent of your injuries, and your legal options.
- An investigation into your accident and injury. Once you hire a lawyer, he or she should conduct a thorough investigation of your accident, which consists of examining all available evidence, getting help from accident reconstruction experts, and negotiating with insurance providers.
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit. Once the investigation is over, your attorney will then formulate a demand for settlement. If your case cannot be settled up front, however, he or she may work with you to file a lawsuit seeking financial compensation.
- Discovery. Before trial, the opposing parties obtain further evidence from one another. Each side can examine the extensive nature of the other side’s case.
- Mediation. In an effort to avoid trial, a mediator may be used to reach an agreement.
- Trial. If the claim has not been settled or resolved by the court through a motion, then the case goes to trial. In this process, the jury will evaluate the facts, determine fault, and award monetary damages.