Personal Injury Lawsuit Process
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What Is the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process?
Personal injury claims go through several major steps during the lawsuit process. These may vary with each case, but most lawsuits involve steps such as:
- Filing: After the injury incident, the victim may initiate legal action by filing with the court
- Discovery: This is where the parties exchange important documents that will be used in the upcoming trial
- Arguments: This is where the parties present their legal arguments using evidence to support their claims. They may also examine witnesses to make their points
- Judgment: Upon review of the evidence and arguments, the court will issue the judgment, which may include monetary damages and other remedies
- Appeals: If necessary, the parties may appeal legal issues that are in dispute. Factual disputes are generally not appealed
Do All Personal Injury Claims Go Through the Entire Lawsuit Process?
Various other factors can change the course and direction of a personal injury lawsuit. An example of this is where one party decides to offer a settlement early on in trial. This can have the effect of shortening the overall process. In some cases, settlement can occur even before trial occurs, thus eliminating the need for the parties to undergo litigation.
On the other hand, other factors can extend the lawsuit process. For instance, if there is dispute over a legal issue, a re-trial or an appeal may sometimes result. This can cause the process to be extended longer than normal.
Are Damages Awarded in All Injury Claims?
Not necessarily- while damages are a common form of remedy in many personal injury cases, some may result in other remedies. For instance, some injury cases may result in an equitable remedy such as an injunction requiring the defendant to perform certain steps.
Also, not all types of damages are available in every instance. Punitive damages, for example, are only issued in cases where the defendant has acted intentionally to injure the plaintiff, or where the injury was caused by severe recklessness. Every state has slightly different regulations regarding damage awards in personal injury cases.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
The personal injury lawsuit process is going to be slightly different each time. You may wish to hire a lawyer if you feel that you need to file a legal claim for a personal injury. Your attorney can represent you during the process and can provide you with legal advice for your claim. Also, your lawyer can keep you informed of any changes that might arise during the process.
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Last Modified: 02-11-2014 12:16 PM PST
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