After you have been injured in an automobile, truck or motorcycle accident, you may wonder what the next steps may entail. If the accident was not your fault, you can expect the following basic steps to act as a general guideline for the process of your personal injury claim/lawsuit:
- Initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer
- Development of your injuries
- Filing a complaint in court
- Discovery/litigation process
- Post trial appeals
Let’s further explore in-depth, each step of the process below.
Following your automobile accident, it would be highly advantageous for you to consult with a personal injury attorney immediately. This is called an initial consultation. Here, your lawyer will extract from you the facts that are necessary in order to begin the investigation of your case. Following this meeting, your lawyer will obtain police reports, witness statements and perhaps initial medical records. Your lawyer will then give notice to the appropriate parties and/or their insurance companies.
Development of Your Injuries
Next, there will be a period of time in which it will be expected that you will be obtaining treatment for your injuries. During this period of time (which is usually six months to one year long) you should be keeping your lawyer informed as to the development of your injuries and treatment. Have you had any diagnostic tests? What are the results of your tests? Have pain injections been discussed? Have you had a surgical consultation? Is surgery being recommended? What physical therapy or chiropractic treatment have you received? It would be very beneficial for the development of your case to keep your attorney fully informed of these developments. Your attorney will keep the opposing insurance adjuster apprised as to your injuries and how they are affecting your life. During this stage, it is best to send your attorney an email explaining your treatment status so that he or she may print or save the email to your file.
The Filing of Your Complaint
The next step of the development of your personal injury lawsuit/claim is the filing of a complaint. The complaint will usually be filed in the county in which the accident took place. The complaint will allege very basic and broad allegations against the party who caused your accident. Once filed, the complaint will be served upon the defendant or defendants. Each defendant will then have a specified amount of time to respond to the complaint.
After a complaint is filed and an answer is served, the court will allow a certain period of time for what is known as “discovery”. During this “discovery” period you may be sent written questions called interrogatories. These are written questions that will be given to you by your lawyer. Your lawyer will ask that you return them physically or digitally to his or her office. The lawyer will then review and edit your answers and submit them to the defendant’s attorney. After this, you will likely be scheduled for a deposition. During a deposition, you will be asked questions about your background, how the accident happened, your injuries and treatment, and how the accident has affected your life. For a broader discussion explanation of your deposition and the deposition process, you can click this link.
Once the discovery period is closed, the parties are likely to be ordered to facilitation/mediation. This is the period of time during your case, and the process by which, many cases are resolved. A facilitator is a person who acts as a mediator between the parties. He or she will evaluate the position of each party and see if a settlement/resolution is possible. For further and more specific discussion of facilitation and the facilitation process, you can click this link.
After the discovery period has closed and if the facilitation/mediation has failed, the court will schedule a case for a trial. Your case may settle up until the date of trial, or at any point during the trial. However, should there be no settlement, a jury trial will be held and a verdict will be rendered. Thereafter, each side will have the opportunity to appeal the jury’s verdict if they so choose.
If your case goes to trial and to a jury verdict, there remains a very real possibility that the losing party will appeal the jury’s verdict. Additionally, the losing party may appeal some or all of the rulings that the trial judge made prior to or during the trial. Unfortunately, this is usually a 2 to 4 year process. When the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court make their final decision, either the verdict will stand or the Court of Appeals/Supreme Court will order that the case returned to the trial court, to be tried again.
Hire The Best – Hire Femminineo Law
The attorneys at Femminineo Law have been handling auto accident/personal injury cases for 30 years. If you want the best results for your injury case, you should hire lawyers that can get the job done. Call Femminineo Law anytime at 855-65-CRASH or contact us to get the best injury lawyers in Michigan.