The vast majority of Personal Injury cases are settled with the defendant’s insurance company before a formal lawsuit is filed with the court but if no settlement can be reached then your attorney will prepare a complaint.
A complaint basically states that you were involved in an accident due to the negligence of another. Once the summons and complaint is filed and served, we then wait for the defendant and their attorney to answer. Once the complaint is answered, the attorney begins the discovery portion of your lawsuit. During discovery, information is shared between attorneys for both the plaintiff and defendant.
Another part of the discovery process is the deposition. A deposition is when evidence is given under oath and recorded for use in court at a later date. You will be asked questions by each attorney relating to the accident and your injuries. Likewise, the other parties involved in the lawsuit will have to answer questions under oath.
Most personal injury cases are resolved before they reach trial. If the attorneys cannot resolve the case, they may offer the client to resolve it by arbitration or mediation.
If a settlement cannot be reached through mediation a trial date will be scheduled. All information is presented to a jury who will make a decision as far as the outcome of the case. This may include the testimony of doctors, experts, plaintiffs and defendants. A trial may last from one day to a few weeks, depending on the complexity of issues. Once a settlement is reached the insurance company agrees to pay compensation to the injured party in exchange for the inured party giving up or releasing all claims against the defendant.