Suffering an injury is always a scary situation, but not knowing the timeline of everything that comes afterward can sometimes make it even more difficult. This is why knowing what to expect and how long it may take is something that can help relieve some of the stress of these unfortunate events. From getting medical treatment, choosing a lawyer, being prepared for a trial, the following is a realistic timeline of the procedures you should follow when being involved in a personal injury lawsuit.
First and foremost you should go to a hospital and see a doctor as soon as you can to seek medical care for your injuries. In addition to this being the best decision for your health, you might not be aware of the severity of all of your injuries at the time so it truly is best to get them looked at by a professional.
Choosing the Right Attorney For Your Case
Choosing a qualified attorney is the next most important action to take as you will need one if you wish to be compensated or to receive a claim of any sort to settle the issue. This is something that may seem obvious for larger injuries but the importance of seeking council even in the case of smaller ones cannot be overstated enough. Contacting the attorney as soon as possible is critical to preserve information in your possession; enabling the attorney to investigate and obtain information – such as surveillance video – from other entities; obtain proper medical care, and ensure proper medical billing and payment procedures. Additionally, legal actions must be filed within a certain amount of time, called a Statute of Limitations, and delay can cause your claim to be barred. Finally, in addition to the Statute of Limitations, some actions require the attorney to give notice of a potential lawsuit to various entities only weeks after the incident, and delay can also cause your claim to be barred.
Once you have found an attorney be prepared to give detailed information for all of the events surrounding your incident. Make sure to be as accurate and thorough as you can as the more information you equip your lawyer with the easier it will be for them to get the compensation you deserve, as well as making sure they do not run into any surprises during the process which can only hurt you in the long run.
Determining Whether You Have a Case
Your attorney will go over all of your medical records and between this and your description of what occurred, they will inform you on whether or not they believe you have a case. Since it is possible that you will be going to the doctor over a period a time for various treatments be aware that this aspect of your lawsuit could take months or even longer depending on the severity of your issue. This is of course unless your lawyer looks at your case and can tell you early on that unfortunately, you do not have a case that they think can be pursued in court. In such situations, it is always recommended to get a second opinion from another attorney.
It is also possible that your attorney can settle your case with an insurance company or another lawyer without ever having to step foot inside a courtroom. If your lawyer believes you have a strong case and they are confident that you have reached a point of maximum recovery and have reached the end of your treatment, they may have all the information they need to figure out just what you should be owed and they may be able to settle the case for you at that time. It is essential that you reach that maximum recovery point, for the last thing you would want to do is make a settlement or go to trial based on certain injuries only to have them get worse during the process and not be able to use that information in court because the arguments on your status had already started.
What Happens When You File a Lawsuit
If you are not able to settle the case it will then be time to file the lawsuit which, in the case of a personal injury case, may take one to two years before the trial actually starts. There is a statute of limitations on when these suits must be filed by in order to be heard in a court so it is imperative to be aware of these timelines.
Once the lawsuit is filed, the discovery process begins which is the procedure where each party goes over the other legal team’s claims and plan of defense of their client. Documents and written requests are exchanged and depositions of the witnesses in the case take place and this entire process can take six months to a year depending on the intricate details of your lawsuit.
After the discovery process, the mediation and negotiation can begin, and this is when both attorneys will try and come up with a fair settlement for both parties rather than go to court and let a judge and/or jury decide your fate. If the lawyers cannot do this themselves they will see a mediator who will attempt to fairly decide the results for them.
How Long Will My Lawsuit Last?
If all of this fails then your case will go to trial, in which case it is very hard to know just how long this process will be. Start dates for trials often get delayed, and even the amount of time spent in the court can vary from half a day to a full day which may elongate the time you must wait to get this resolved. In the end, it is important to know that although this entire ordeal may take longer than you wish this is what must be done in order to receive justice and the compensation you are owed. While there are no guarantees even if you do go to trial, this is your best bet to prove that you were wronged and to get the legal retribution you deserve.
Contact New Jersy Personal Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been injured you need a qualified attorney from Bramnick Law who will stand up and fight for you in court. Contact Bramnick Law at 877-423-4878 today to schedule your initial case evaluation today.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.