Only a small percentage of personal injury lawsuits go to trial, according to the American Bar Association (ABA). These lawsuits that do go all the way to court typically follow these steps:
- Your lawsuit is filed within the allotted time.
- Each side conducts interviews and depositions.
- Your legal team organizes your supporting evidence.
- Each side presents its case to the court.
- A verdict is decided and announced.
These steps might be difficult to navigate on your own. A local personal injury lawyer who knows the laws of your state can help you become familiar with how a personal injury lawsuit works. Your lawyer may also be able to help you effectively navigate the legal system until your case is resolved with a final verdict.
Because so few personal injury cases actually go to trial, your lawyer may also be able to help you negotiate a financial settlement. A settlement agreement may let you and the at-fault party avoid going to court at all.
Comply with Your State’s Personal Injury Laws
If you and the at-fault party cannot reach a settlement agreement and your lawsuit is one of the few that goes to court, your lawyer will make sure you understand the filing deadline and meet these other legal requirements:
- Making required local and municipal notifications
- Understanding comparative negligence laws
- Understanding mandated damage caps
- Proving the at-fault party’s negligence
Concentrate on your physical recovery while a lawyer builds an effective lawsuit on your behalf. To do so and to drive settlement negotiations, your lawyer may start by determining the financial value of your lawsuit. Make a point of complying with any requests for information that may be beneficial to your lawsuit.
Do Not Overlook Any Recoverable Damages
Assigning a carefully calculated value to your lawsuit is as important as filing it on time. If your recoverable damages are inaccurately valued, you might inadvertently agree to an insufficient settlement agreement. According to the ABA, your recoverable damages may include:
- All accident-related medical expenses
- All income loss related to the accident
- The value of your property damage
- Lasting physical disabilities or disfigurement
- Physical pain and suffering and inconvenience
- Mental and emotional distress and trauma
Your lawyer might request a wide range of documents and evidence to bolster and support your lawsuit and to attest to the validity of your compensable financial damages. In many cases when your case file is convincing, a settlement offer may be a more likely resolution than a court case.
Build a Strong and Convincing Evidence File
Your evidence file has to paint a clear picture of the sequence of events. It must also tell each side where to place financial liability. Your lawyer may include the following in your evidence file:
- Official reports
- Salary records
- Property values
- Witness statements
- Insurance paperwork
- Medical records and bills
Provide your lawyer with any other documents or evidence that support your right to financial recovery. Be careful to maintain copies for your personal records as well.
Your Personal Injury Lawsuit Does Not Have to Go to Court
A lengthy court process might add to the stress and anxiety of your accident and resulting injuries. Like many injury victims, you may prefer to settle your lawsuit without going to court. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help you negotiate a favorable settlement that might be a less stressful and demanding resolution.
The time to reach a settlement agreement does not end until a verdict is returned in your lawsuit. In addition to negotiating on your behalf, your lawyer may also ensure you meet your state’s filing deadline. Doing so may safeguard your right to go to court if you cannot reach an agreement. Failing to do so might lead to the immediate dismissal of your lawsuit and prevent you from legally compelling compensation from the at-fault party.
Let Our Team Manage Your Injury Lawsuit
If you were injured by someone else’s negligence, you might have to fight for financial compensation in court if you cannot reach a settlement agreement. Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, can explain how a personal injury lawsuit works and what timeline you might expect to follow.
You are not alone in your pursuit of compensation. Call (828) 286-3866 to reach a team member today and start fighting for the compensation you are entitled to receive. This consultation is free!