Stages of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

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What Are the Different Stages of a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Personal injury lawsuits can take many different forms depending on each case. They can often involve a complex interaction of different laws and regulations. If you have been involved in a personal injury claim, it is often helpful to understand the different stages of a personal injury lawsuit. That way, you have a basic understanding of what to expect in the upcoming trial.

It is also important to understand that the personal injury laws of each state may be very different from one another. However, generally speaking, every personal injury lawsuit will involve the following stages:

Thus, the stages of a personal injury lawsuit form a sort of “timeline”, which can be useful when organizing a trial strategy. Each stage revolves around specific goals that the parties are trying to fulfill. It is also helpful to divide personal injury lawsuits into larger stages, such as Pre-trial, Mid-Trial, and Post-Trial stages.     

At Which Stages of a Personal Injury Lawsuit Do Most Disputes Occur?

Technically speaking, disputes can (and do) occur at every stage of a personal injury lawsuit. Of course, most of the disputes will be presented and resolved during formal trial. However, it is common for disputes to arise at seemingly straight-forward stages of the lawsuit. For example, it is common for disputes to arise during the discovery process. 

During discovery, each party may be required to produce certain information, such as hospital documents, damage receipts, or work stubs. At times it can be difficult to obtain such information, as one party might claim that they don’t “need” to share the information with the other party. A “motion to compel” may be necessary, which is basically a court-order instructing a party to hand the information over to the other party.

Also, disputes commonly arise due to difficulties in collecting on a judgment. Oftentimes a defendant may have trouble paying the damages award, especially if they are in debt or bankrupt. In some instances it may be necessary to seek a court injunction requiring the defendant to sell some property so that they can pay the judgment award. Garnishment of wages is sometimes necessary as well.  

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

A lawyer can be of much help at all stages of any personal injury lawsuit. Your lawyer can help provide advice on your situation in light of the injury laws of your state. Even if the claim doesn’t reach the trial stage, a lawyer is often necessary during negotiations and settlements. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you obtain the property remedy for your losses. 

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Last Modified: 11-04-2014 04:31 PM PST

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