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Steps Involved in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you have been in a car accident, fall prey to a defective medical device, DUI, or any other personal injury, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to compensate for the losses.

Here are some of the common benchmarks you will come across while fighting a personal injury lawsuit in Cincinnati.

The Plaintiff (The Victim) Is Injured and Hires an Attorney

There has to be an injury of some kind in a personal injury lawsuit. The extent and nature of the plaintiff’s injury will act as proof of the plaintiff’s losses and the defendant’s liability.

The better the proof, the higher the compensation. The right time to hire an attorney for a personal injury lawsuit is a common dilemma people face before filing a personal injury lawsuit.

If your (plaintiff’s) estimated losses appear to be above the limit that local courts deal in, you may have to hire an attorney to recover fully. That is to say, your losses should be more than $1000 or so.

Once you approach an attorney, he conducts an initial consultation. If it appears that the plaintiff is at an advantage, the attorney can further look forward to running a deep investigation on the same. This will include getting information on if the defendant has an insurance company or if he is capable of recovering the expenses or not.

If, after such research, the attorney could be potential in the case, the fee agreement is signed.

Personal Injury Complaint Filed Against the Defendant

After this, the attorney takes over the case. At the first step, he files a personal injury complaint against the defendant in the civil court.

This complaint will include the details of the allegations put by the plaintiff on the defendant. Next, the attorney will have to find the defendant and physically deliver the filed complaint to him/her. This could be done so that the defendant later cannot deny that he didn’t receive any complaint or was unaware of the lawsuit filed.

The papers also tell the defendant the date on which he/she will have to appear before the court.

Defendant Hires an Attorney

The defendant usually has a month or so to hire an attorney before he is asked to appear before the court. It will be easy for the defendant to hire an attorney if he has assets and an insurance policy.

If the insurance is applicable, the defendant must first inform the insurance company of the case filed against him/her. In some cases, the insurance company can help the defendant appoint a lawyer on his behalf if he already hasn’t.

Unlike the plaintiff’s attorney, the Defense attorney works on an hourly rate rather than on the contingency fee. This means even if the case is lost, the defendant has to pay the attorney from his own pocket.

Pretrial and Discovery

The pretrial process is also known as the discovery stage, as both the parties ask each other for evidence to prove each other’s claims. The court doesn’t interfere in pretrial cases. It only asks how the case is going and if they will reach a settlement through negotiation and set the next trial date.

The discovery process includes coming to court now and then for months and even for years sometimes. After the discovery process, the final trial date is set.

During this period, both parties have the last chance to prove their side well and ramp their efforts on finding concrete evidence.

The Trial Phase

The trial phase for a personal injury attorney lasts for many days. During this phase, the judge or jury will hear both sides of the story and conclude, determining who was at fault for the accident, the plaintiff’s losses, and the compensation amount.

Both the parties have the right to appeal after the trial. This appeal process can even last for several weeks and months. After all the appeal is exhausted, the defendant has to pay the compensation amount decided by the court on the trial or appeal.

Settlement in Personal Injury Cases

Most personal injury cases don’t even see the light of the court day. Most of these cases are solved outside the court even before filing the complaint. With mutual consent, both the parties can agree for settlement, i.e. deciding on their own who was at fault for the accident, the compensatory amount paid, etc.

Hiring a good Cincinnati personal injury attorney increases the chances of settling the case outside the court through easy negotiation. Contact us to learn more about personal injury lawsuits.

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