You are actually not very likely to ever see the inside of a courtroom in a personal injury case. Most of them are settled out of court before a trial starts. If you find that your case just can't be settled with the help of a judge, then you will want a lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases handling your claim. What is the role a personal injury attorney plays in your case? Here are just some of the things you can expect from your lawyer.
Filing Court Documents
Your lawyer will file the necessary court documents to begin the formal process of a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. The statement of claim will have the summary of the allegations you are making and are going to try to prove at the trial. The opposing lawyer will then file a defense to your claim.
The Discovery Process
You can expect to be involved in the discovery process next. The two-part process of discovery includes an oral examination, in which you are questioned under oath, and a document discovery. This is all the paperwork from your doctor and insurance company stating that the injuries you suffer from were sustained in the accident and the costs of treatment and the repair of damage to your property. The defendant's lawyer will provide documents of any background investigations or surveillance of you if there has been any.
During the oral examination, you will be questioned by the defendant's lawyer about how the injury occurred and the effect it has had on your life. This is recorded by a court reporter and transcribed. The opposing lawyer is looking at what evidence you give and how you are giving that evidence to the court.
Pre-Trial Hearing and Private Mediation
At this point, there is a chance to go into mediation with a private mediator instead of going to trial. This is to try to settle the claim without involving a judge. You and your lawyer will sit down with the defendant and their lawyer to try to work out a settlement that is fair to both parties.
If this is not possible, there will be a pre-trial hearing with a judge, where you and your lawyer will hear the judge's opinion on the case and how they assess how much they believe your damages are worth.
The Trial and Appeal
The trial is where both sides of the claim present their case to the judge, and the opposing side can cross-examine your witnesses and vice versa. The damages you are requesting will be assessed and either awarded or denied at this point.
If either you or the defendant is not happy with the verdict, an appeal can be filed. Appeals usually only happen if the lawyer feels there was an error and the law was not applied correctly in court. This could be a case of the facts not being supported by the court's decision. An appeal is not a new trial, just a re-presentation of the findings and evidence of the original evidence.Share