If you’ve been injured in an accident, you likely need a Personal Injury Attorney to help you recover damages. The lawyer can investigate the cause of your injuries, identify the parties responsibly, and file a lawsuit against them. A personal injury attorney typically works on a contingency basis, meaning they don’t get paid until you receive compensation for your injuries. However, sometimes these cases take years to resolve.
When you work with a personal injury attorney, they will likely want to calculate your damages. Damages are monetary compensation covering past and future medical bills, lost wages, and diminished earning capacity.
There are two types of damages that you might qualify for: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are losses with a specific cost and can be proven by receipts, bills, and invoices.
Non-economic damages don’t have a precise cost but still deserve compensation. They include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of companionship, and other losses not based on a bill or receipt.
Preparing for Trial
Preparing for trial is one of the most exhausting, intense, and exciting events in any legal professional’s career. This involves collecting, analyzing, and organizing evidence, including expert testimony and documents.
The attorney has to know how all of this evidence will fit together and have it in a place where they can quickly call it up at any time during the trial.
A personal injury attorney needs to be prepared to go to trial from the beginning of a case. This includes preparing a trial binder and working with witnesses to ensure they can testify at the trial.
Filing a Complaint
The first document filed in court to start a lawsuit is the “complaint.” It lets the court and the defendant know that you are using it.
Your attorney will prepare a complaint that states your legal arguments, the facts that support them, and what you want in relief. Your attorney can also amend the complaint if new evidence is found.
After you file the complaint, the defendant has limited time to respond before the case can proceed. During this process, the two sides exchange information and take depositions.
Negotiating a Settlement
Often, the best way to resolve a personal injury case is to settle it rather than going to trial. However, deciding whether to pursue a settlement or go to trial is an important legal decision that requires experience and expertise on your attorney’s part.
Lawyers can calculate a fair settlement amount by assessing your current and future medical expenses. This includes the cost of emergency room visits, ongoing medical treatment, medications, and therapy.
They also consider how your injuries have affected your ability to earn income. To prove this, they compile wage statements and consult economists to determine your pre-injury income. Using this information, they can build their argument for compensation for your lost earning capacity. Ultimately, a successful negotiation will leave you with the money you need to cover your expenses and recover from your injuries.
Filing a Lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit is a civil legal action by one party (the plaintiff) against another party (the defendant). It is a way to recover damages for injuries caused by someone else’s negligence.
The lawsuit starts with filing a complaint, a legal document listing the facts and law supporting your claim and the relief you seek. It also explains how you would like the court to decide your case.
Once the complaint is filed, it can be served on the defendant. They will then have an opportunity to respond.
During this discovery phase, both parties exchange information that might be useful during the trial. The process is time-consuming and can involve many depositions, document requests, and interrogatories.