A personal injury claim usually begins after someone suffers an injury, whether it is from a slip and fall accident or by a defective product.
Accident and personal injury lawsuits can take many forms, but the basic stages of a personal injury claim usually remain constant. First and foremost, there must be proof that someone suffered an injury, and that the injury was caused as a result of another individual’s negligence or intentionally.
Although an injury claim may be settled directly through an insurer, a personal injury attorney can help you determine what your legal options are. If your claim has merit, the attorney may represent you and help you fight for the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.
When you meet with an attorney, you will provide them with information on how the injury occurred, facts about your medical treatment, potential witnesses and more. Before a lawsuit is filed, a demand letter is open sent to the party at-fault or their insurer. In the letter, liability and damage issues will be outlined along with the presentation of a particular amount of money to resolve the case early without going through a lawsuit. If an agreement cannot be solidified, a lawsuit is filed.
Before going to trial, both parties will work to gather evidence, interview potential witnesses, hire experts and work to uncover all relevant facts and documents needed. During this time your lawyer may sit down with you to discuss the accident, your injuries, how you’re feeling, if the injury is affecting your job, etc. Personal injury claim questions can range from broad to specific, such as what type of clothing you were wearing when the incident occurred. It is important that your attorney receives only the facts, so always be honest with them.
Some personal injury claims are solved before they go to trial as insurers often want to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. If the personal injury claim goes to trial, the process could take a few days or a few years. Some steps involved in the trial process include:
- Jury selection
- Opening/Closing statements
- Questioning witnesses/experts
- Jury deliberation and verdict
During the trial, a judge or jury will decide if the defendant should be held legally responsible for their injuries and damages alleged by the victim
No matter what decision is handed down, either side may appeal the final decision. An appeal court will review what happened during the proceedings to determine if an error contributed to the trial court’s decision.
An appeal is a review of the trial court’s application of the law. During an appeal there is no jury nor do the lawyers present witnesses or other types of evidence.
Most state law cases end at the state Supreme Court. As these courts receive many requests for review, they typically only grant review to cases involving unsettled questions of law.
At Simien & Simien, we understand how confusing the personal injury claim process can be, which is why we there to help guide you ever step of the way. Our knowledgeable attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the justice you deserve.