Personal Injury Timeline
When deciding to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, it can be scary to consider how long and complicated the personal injury process can get. The more you are able to be aware of the steps, the best equipped you are to carry on with your case. Personal injury attorneys are there to ease the mental stress associated with lawsuits and knowledge to take on the other party. If you are thinking of filing a personal injury lawsuit, consult a legal counsel.
Glendale Attorney Explains Personal Injury Timeline
Most people have never dealt with filing a lawsuit previously, so it can be quite difficult to know exactly what steps to follow. Consulting a personal injury attorney can assure you have grounds to open a lawsuit. Second, an attorney will make sure you are still within the statute of limitations to file the lawsuit.
At Yarian & Associates, APC, we are dedicated to being transparent with you and your family. When we sit down to review your case, we will go over each step of the process so that you can be confident about our representation. We will fight to represent your best interests through every stage.
We work with clients in the cities of Glendale, Visalia, Los Angeles, and more. Call us at (844) 291-1911 or fill out a free case review form at the bottom of the page.
Overview of Personal Injury Timeline
- Claims and Medical Records Investigation
- Settlement Without Lawsuit
- Filing a Lawsuit
- Trial (case by case)
- Additional Resources
Claims & Medical Records Investigation
After meeting with your personal injury attorney and deciding to pursue a personal injury lawsuit involving a certain case, the personal injury will likely go over the claim’s investigation process. Your personal injury attorney will want all of the details of the injury, and the medical records associated with it. The medical records not only serve as a validity of your accident claim, but the attorney will likely know how far the evidence available will serve to prove your case.
Settlement Without Lawsuit
Often times, you can just settle a case without needing to file a lawsuit with the public court which can save you and the attorney money and time. In car accident cases, for example, the car insurance may propose a certain amount of money which your attorney may recommend for or against, depending on his or her experience. Having a lawyer in this circumstance can serve to know if settling this early in the process may have you missing out on a large settlement sum. On the other hand, your attorney may also a propose a certain offer, usually one that is highly favorable to you, and the other party can accept or decline.
The process of filing a lawsuit will vary on several factors. Your lawyer will investigate to see if the statute of limitations is still in place to be able to file a lawsuit on time. Depending on the case, even if the standard statute of limitations is out of order, a lawsuit can still be filed. If the potential plaintiff is undergoing further medical evaluation, then the lawyer may wait until the medical evaluation is complete.
A complete medical evaluation and treatment can give your lawyer the exact amount of expenses he or she should be claiming for you during the lawsuit. If the medical evaluation is still in its early stages, filing too early can underestimate or overestimate the amount of medical expenses. On the other hand, you may have to obtain the right to sue in various cases. For example, with some cases, you have to obtain a right to sue first, once you receive it, your lawyer will file the lawsuit.
During the discovery phase of the case, the opposite parties in the case will work to gather evidence from each other. The discovery period also referred to as the pre-trial period gives a chance for the opposing parties to ask for recordings of interviews, police reports (if applicable), written documents and records. In civil cases such as a personal injury lawsuit, there are certain limits of evidence that are available to share. The parties can ask for clearly lined evidence, and other information they believe will be valuable to their side of the case. However, information such as client-attorney communications, spousal communications, or intellectual property like trade secrets are forbidden for sharing.
Although not required, California courts encourage mediation between opposing parties before deciding to take the case before trial. The mediation process is the point in which both parties, attorneys and individuals go before an approved mediator to settle the case out of court on their own terms. Usually every party prefers this in a civil personal injury case to avoid the hassle of a trial which may entail public scrutiny. The court is also subdued to an established process falling outside of each party’s hands. The trial process also brings more fees and costs to each attorney for a prolonged amount of time. The mediation will have both parties trying to negotiate the best settlement for their own party. In general, both parties measure their risk and seek to come to an agreement.
Trial (case by case)
A trial is a court process in which opposing parties bring their case before a judge, and a jury in some cases. Each party presents the arguments in their own favor and a judge proclaims the result. Most civil cases only involve a judge. Though most attorneys will try to do their best to avoid a trial, if no parties can come to terms during a mediation, a trial may be necessary.
American Bar | Types of Personal Injury – To learn more about the different types of personal injury cases available to file, click on the American Bar Association (ABA) page. The American Bar page provides in-depth resources about negligence, medical malpractice and product liability.
California Courts | Civil Cases Process – The California Courts page provides a general overview of civil cases in California courts. While the page only explains the proceedings following mediation, the page can go more in-depth about the steps within the trial process.