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What steps should I follow in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Jan 18, 2022
Shamis & Gentile, P.A.

Although each personal injury case is unique, they all follow a similar sequence of stages from injury to settlement. This blog will help you know what to expect as you pursue your personal injury lawsuit.

The injury

The first step is, of course, the injury and its immediate consequences. There will be medical, legal and financial repercussions as the plaintiff deals with the injury. As far as claiming damages is concerned, many cases will settle in small claims court with values between $5,000 and $10,000. If your damages exceed this amount, then the next step will be to hire a personal injury attorney. You and your lawyer will sit down and discuss your case. If the attorney feels that you may have a case, they will conduct an exploratory investigation to confirm this. If they find that you have solid grounds to pursue legal action, they will agree to take your case, usually on a deferred fee. You will sign an agreement upfront regarding the fee the attorney will collect once the case is concluded.

The filing and serving of the complaint

Your attorney then draws up a complaint and files it in the applicable court. A copy is also served to the defendant within a month or so of filing the document. 

The defense attorney is appointed

Once the defendant receives the complaint, they need to find a defense attorney to represent them, if they do not already have one. If insurance applies to the case, the defendant is required to inform the insurance company about the complaint immediately. The insurer will then appoint a defense attorney if the defendant has not already done so.

Pre-trial and discovery

In the pre-trial phase, both sides will build their cases from the available evidence. Witness and evidence information is exchanged (this is referred to as “discover”), and both sides will appear in court to update the judge on the case’s progress. This process can go on for quite a long time – sometimes a year or more.

The trial

Finally, the trial will begin, with the judge or jury being tasked with deciding whether the defendant is, in fact, the at-fault party. The plaintiff’s attorneys and the defense attorneys present the arguments they have built on the basis of the evidence they collected in the discovery phase in an attempt to convince the judge and jury of their case. If the defendant is found to be at fault, the judge will decide how much needs to be paid to the plaintiff to cover damages. Once the trial is concluded, either side can appeal against the judgment.

Most personal injury cases do not even go to trial. The two defense teams will meet periodically throughout the discovery phase and attempt to reach a settlement by making offers and counteroffers. One of these is likely to be accepted before the costly court process gets underway.

Work with a personal injury lawyer at Shamis & Gentile 

Shamis & Gentile provides outstanding legal services in Florida and New York. We distinguish ourselves because of our experience and resources, which we combine to handle any kind of case involving personal injury, class actions/mass tort, contract disputes, among others. When you bring your case to Shamis & Gentile, you will always work with a seasoned attorney who has an excellent track record. We are progressive and trusted within the legal community, and we are often called upon to settle cases that other law firms may not be able to handle on their own. Contact us and book a consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.

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