You might be entitled to recover compensation for losses, injuries, and damages when another person injures you because of negligence or wrongdoing. Examples of incidents that might give rise to a personal injury claim include a driver rear-ends another vehicle, a defective product causes an injury, you fall at a store, or you are injured getting off a city bus. If someone was negligent in causing your injury, you should discuss filing an injury claim with a California personal injury attorney. Your time to file a lawsuit is limited; therefore, do not wait to act to protect your legal rights to fair compensation.
Attempting to Settle a Personal Injury Claim
Before you file a personal injury lawsuit, your California personal injury attorney attempts to settle the claim with the insurance company or another party. In many cases, settling a claim outside of court is the most efficient and effective way to recover the compensation you deserve and need.
However, some cases cannot be settled through negotiation or mediation. In those cases, your attorney may advise you that you should file a personal injury lawsuit to protect your rights. While each lawsuit is unique, some steps are common in many lawsuits filed because of an injury claim.
Common Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in California
- Complaint — The complaint is filed with the court and served on the other parties named in the lawsuit (the defendants). The defendants have a deadline for filing an answer or other response. If the defendant does not answer, you can file a motion for default judgment to receive the relief you requested in the complaint.
- Answer and/or Counterclaim — Most defendants respond to the Complaint by filing an answer denying the allegations in the Complaint. If the defendant files a counterclaim alleging wrongdoing on your part, your attorney will respond to the allegations in the counterclaim.
- Discovery Phase — After the pleadings are filed, the parties engage in discovery. Discovery may include sending written questions to the defendant to be answered under oath (interrogatories) and request for production of documents. Discovery may also include taking depositions of various parties and witnesses.
- Motions — Throughout the case, either party may file motions requesting specific relief. Most of the motions are filed after the discovery phase and before trial. The motions filed in a case depend on the specific details and circumstances in the case.
- Trial — The parties may settle a personal injury lawsuit at any time before a jury arrives at a verdict. Although it may be rare, some parties get to trial and decide that it is best for them to settle the claim before the trial begins or after hearing the evidence presented by the plaintiff (the accident victim).
Do You Need a California Personal Injury Attorney?
If you have been injured in an accident, you may need a California personal injury attorney to file an injury claim. Your attorney understands how to investigate the claim to identify the responsible parties and secure evidence to prove liability. A thorough investigation is crucial for recovering compensation for your claim, especially if you need to file a personal injury lawsuit. Contact a California slip and fall accident attorney at Deldar Legal to learn more about how we can help you file a personal injury lawsuit
Posted in: Personal Injury