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Steps/timeline in a personal injury lawsuit

Common Questions About a Personal Injury Lawsuit

When faced with the uncertainty of a life altering injury, it is important to know what to expect from your attorney and your case.  The reality is that the time a case takes varies for a number of reasons.  If you undergo a significant amount of treatment, that will usually prolong your case.  While your case may take a bit longer, it is important to get fully compensated for your injuries.  In addition to treatment, the venue, or where your case is suited, can also affect the length of your case.  Some counties move faster than others.  A good attorney will pick the county that is best suited for all aspects of your case.

While the timeline in your lawsuit may fluctuate, the steps in it stay pretty much the same.  Here we try to discuss the major steps in your case, so that you have a better idea of what to expect.

Sign Up

The first thing that happens in any case is that you choose which lawyer to call.  When making this choice, it is important to evaluate the lawyer’s experience, track record, and most importantly, his willingness to make sure you are an equal partner in your case.  Too many lawyers fail to keep clients in the loop about their case.  It is important that you have a lawyer who will be transparent about the process.  The most successful cases are a result of a complete collaboration between the lawyer and client.

Here at the Platta Law Firm, we make sure that you know where your case is at all times. You are able to enter your case into our website at any time to check the status.  Additionally, you will receive frequent calls from our attorneys and staff to make sure you are fully informed.  Our track history of both results and reviews from clients make it clear that we fight these battles together.

Treatment

After your case is signed up, we will start the investigation right away.  This means that we will ask for any witnesses you might know about, or for any pictures you may have of the area where the accident occurred.   Additionally, we will send investigators to the scene in an effort to uncover all of the facts.  While the law firm is investigating, it is the client’s job to get the treatment that they need for their injuries.  It is human nature to try to tough things out or try to put off going to the doctor.  It is important that you do not do this if you have been injured in an accident.  If you have been injured, you should seek treatment right away and follow your doctor’s orders.   Sometimes it is not easy, but the medical professionals know what is best for your long-term health.  As we continue to litigate the case, your medical records will be the foundation of your case.

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Suit

While it is not uncommon for a case to settle before a lawsuit it filed, most cases result in a lawsuit.  Now let’s be clear, just because your case is placed into suit it does not mean that your case will go to trial.  Over 95% of lawsuits result in a settlement.  While this is true, at the Platta Law Firm we are always prepared to take a case to trial.  By taking the right steps in the beginning of your case, you set your self up for a fair recovery later in the case

Discovery

You may hear your lawyer talk about “discovery”.  While this term covers a broad range of topics, at its most basic, it is the exchange of information between the parties.  Initial discovery happens after the lawsuit is filed. Both sides will exchange a significant amount of paper discovery, which usually consists of medical records, wage information, accident reports, photographs and anything else which may be relevant to the case. 

Depositions

Following initial discovery, the parties will hold depositions.  A deposition is sworn testimony.  Usually this takes place in a conference room, always with your attorney present.  At the Platta Law Firm, we work hard to make sure that you are comfortable with the process of the deposition.  It is important that you know what to expect from the defense attorney and understand that we are here to protect you and your case. Some defense attorneys will try to use depositions to intimidate an injured victim, we will not let that happen.  Not only that, we will also have the opportunity to ask the defendants questions about your case, further advocating for your cause. 

Mediations

After depositions, some cases move to a mediation.  A mediation is a chance to settle the case with a neutral third party.  Both parties agree on someone they trust to help bring your case to a resolution.  Mediations can be a great way to resolve your case and are often very successful.  It is important that you and your attorney have a conversation about what to expect at the mediation and how the process works.  You should always be fully informed about any settlement discussions every step of the way.

Trial

If your case does not settle, then a trial is needed to resolve the claim.  While most cases settle, we pride ourselves on the ability to fight for clients in the courtroom.  We believe in our clients and their cases.  We are always prepared to go to trial in any case.

Conclusion

While each case is different, this is an overview of how most cases proceed.  The most important thing in any case is communication between you and your lawyer.  Make sure you lawyer keeps you informed as to what happens next, so you know what is coming. 

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