Getting Down To Basics with Attorneys

Personal Injury Cases: A Step by Step Breakdown If you suffer a personal injury because of someone’s negligence, you could be entitled to some kind of compensation. To be able to claim damages, you will need the help of a personal injury attorney to file a personal injury lawsuit. The first meeting will entail your injury attorney trying to evaluate the chances of you getting compensated for the injuries. Known as the ‘initial consultation’ this first meeting with your lawyer is usually free. You will be expected to discuss at length the incident that led to your injuries. Your lawyer will quickly assess the strength of your case to let you know if you are entitled to damages under the personal injury laws of your state. If so, he or she will draft a complaint and take it to the courts to initiate the lawsuit.
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Remember that when a lawyer agrees to represent you on the case, it will be on contingency basis. That means no upfront pay is needed, but they will take a cut of the compensation money you’ll receive once the case is settled.
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After the complaint has been filed, both your attorney and the defendant’s attorney will begin investigations on the incident that brought about the lawsuit, a process known simply as discovery. The attorneys will look into your medical records, employment data, and any other important details about you. Your attorney will in addition uncover some necessary information on the defendant. You might be asked by the opposing lawyer to give a deposition, as part of the discovery process. The attorney may question you regarding the incident, as well as on your personal history. You might be asked to talk about past injuries or illnesses, your work, and any other issues the opposing lawyer deems relevant to the case. After all the evidence is compiled, either or both parties file motions with requests such as having the case dismissed, disregarding a certain part of the evidence for the case, and other such things. How the courts rule on such motions will dictate what happens next in the case. One highly likely outcome is the appointment by the court of a mediator to help settle the case in order to avoid a trial. Your attorney and the opposing attorney may work with the mediator or simply have periodic discussions on how they can reach a settlement. If the two parties fail to reach an out-of-court settlement, the case will have to go to trial. However, since the courts are always full of activity, your case could be penned in for a number of months into the future. When trial begins, there will be a jury in place to decide if you qualify for damages, and if so, how much.