7 Steps When Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Posted On behalf of Simien & Simien on Feb 14, 2018 in Personal Injury
If you sustain an injury caused by another person’s negligence, a personal injury lawsuit may be an option that allows you to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Depending on the severity of your injuries and other factors, personal injury lawsuits can be simple or very complicated. That is why you should work with a qualified Baton Rouge personal injury attorney at every stage of the legal process.
The legal team at Simien & Simien has many years of combined experience helping victims in a variety of personal injury cases. Request a free, no obligation consultation today. We do not charge for our services unless you receive compensation.
1. Hire an Attorney
Request a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case. A knowledgeable lawyer can evaluate the situation and inform you if filing a personal injury lawsuit is appropriate. We will answer any questions you have about filing a personal injury claim.
When you meet with an attorney at Simien & Simien, he or she will discuss your case, review documentation and explain your legal options. You will be informed that we take cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no upfront fees.
You should bring all evidence you have to your consultation, such as:
- Accident reports
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Personal notes
2. File an Insurance Claim
In most personal injury cases, the first step in pursuing compensation is filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. You may have already done so before hiring an attorney, but if not, your lawyer can assist you.
Your attorney may decide it is necessary to send a demand letter to the insurance company to explain your case and the settlement amount you would accept.
The insurance company may offer you the settlement asked for in the demand letter, negotiate another settlement or refuse to settle. No matter what happens, your attorney will handle insurance company negotiations on your behalf. He or she will fight to secure a favorable settlement that offers the compensation you need for the damages you sustained due to the accident.
3. File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If the insurance company refuses to settle or does not offer a fair settlement, filing a personal injury lawsuit is typically the next step.
Your attorney can help ensure your complaint is filed before the statute of limitations on your case runs out. The statute of limitations is a deadline for filing a lawsuit, and if you miss the deadline, you are prohibited from pursuing legal action.
Once the complaint is filed, the defendant must answer it within a certain amount of time. This is the defendant’s opportunity to explain the case from his or her side and possibly file a counter claim.
4. Complete the Discovery Process
The discovery process helps prepare your case for trial. Your lawyer gathers evidence to prove another party is at fault, including testimonies and documents from the defendant and any third parties involved. This could include depositions where either side interviews you, the at-fault party, witnesses or experts.
5. Negotiate a Settlement
Before a trial occurs, either side may attempt to negotiate a settlement. Settling the claim at this stage is often beneficial, saving the expense of a lengthy trial and allowing you to collect compensation much sooner.
If the other side reaches out for a settlement, your attorney will negotiate and attempt to secure fair compensation for all damages you suffered.
6. Take Your Case to Trial
If the case is not settled out of court, it will move to trial. Your attorney will present evidence and arguments supporting your case, and the defendant’s attorneys will have the opportunity to do the same. At trial, your attorney’s goal is to prove the at fault party was responsible for your injuries and obtain maximized compensation on your behalf.
A jury will deliberate on the evidence and arguments heard in court, then issue a verdict. If applicable, a damage award will also be issued.
7. File an Appeal
Following the trial verdict, either party can appeal the court’s decision. If the appeal is granted, the case will be reviewed by a higher court.
If the higher court finds the initial ruling was improper, the lower court’s decision can be reversed. The appeals process can be lengthy and you will not be able to receive compensation until it is complete.
Contact Our Lawyers for Assistance
Working with a skilled personal injury lawyer is important to the success of your case. Your attorney knows what evidence is needed to support your claim and how to apply Louisiana laws to prove another party’s negligence caused your injuries.
At Simien & Simien, our Baton Rouge personal injury lawyers are committed to helping our clients recover maximum compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today to discuss your case with our legal team and learn the legal options available to you.
When working with our firm, there are never upfront fees. You only pay us if we successfully recover compensation for you.