Many people have legitimate personal injury claims in which the responsible parties fail to agree to a fair settlement. If this happens, you may have to file a lawsuit. You may envision a full-blown trial with both judge and jury, and an ending that gives you thousands of dollars, but it isn’t always the case.
When you file your claim, be ready for a long process while the insurance company tries to minimize their payments. And when you enter a negotiation phase, be patient because there’s a lot of back and forth. There will also be a plethora of paperwork, lots of questions, and more waiting, which requires your cooperation and assistance throughout. Keep in mind, even after filing a lawsuit, your case can still be settled.
Is It Necessary To Hire A Lawyer?
When it comes to any personal injury attorney services rancho cucamonga ca experts say, while you don’t have to hire an attorney, its rare for an inexperienced layman to properly handle a lawsuit and achieve good results. For any injury case, it makes sense to hiring a qualified attorney who has experience handling various injury cases. These lawsuits can be convoluted, especially when the responsible party wants to minimize your payout.
After A Complaint Is Filed
The lawsuit begins with the filing of a complaint with your local court, and it entails why the person — the plaintiff — thinks the other person — the defendant — is liable for the injury(s). The defendant will receive a copy of the complaint, along with notice from the court called a summons. This is the court’s way of notifying the defendant that they are being sued, and are required to follow the rules for responding to the lawsuit.
The defendant will be required to respond with an answer, and typically, the answer asserts that most of what the plaintiff says is not correct. Other defenses are also usually included in the answer, like, it was the plaintiff’s fault, or citing an expiration of the statute of limitations.
After this initial exchange of statements and responses, the parties will conduct discovery. This can be the longest part of a lawsuit. Each side gets a chance to ask questions, obtain documents, and take depositions, where people will answer questions under oath. All of this takes time because each side is developing the evidence in its favor. Most of the facts are revealed in discovery, so both sides typically know what the other side has in its arsenal.
In addition to these basics, the handling of a lawsuit requires many strategic decisions. What are the weak points? Which documents are most important? What is the case worth? An experienced lawyer will be able to make these decisions so you end up with a favorable outcome.
This legal process can be confusing, not to mention frustrating. The basic understanding of how claims and lawsuits work can be a complex undertaking. Make sure you get proper medical attention and allow a lawyer to handle correspondence, negotiations and settlements.