How Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Work?


Written by Mackenzie Saunders:

Experiencing a catastrophic injury can be life-changing. Many catastrophic injuries, such as spinal cord injuries (SCI) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), last a lifetime, resulting in lifelong medical costs. After sustaining a catastrophic injury, the first question that many people ask themselves is, “How can I pay for this?” Luckily, you can receive the compensation you need to pay for your lifelong medical costs and all other injury-related expenses through a successful personal injury lawsuit.

Most people are unfamiliar with how the personal injury lawsuit process works, leading many to feel uneasy about pursuing a personal injury claim. However, with the right lawyer, the personal injury lawsuit process can be easy. Read below to learn how personal injury lawsuits work step-by-step.

Step 1: Seek Medical Care

You should never wait to seek medical care after sustaining a catastrophic injury. Remember to seek medical care right away after experiencing an injury. Your catastrophic injury will only worsen if you delay seeking the proper care.

Step 2: Consult with a Lawyer

After seeking the proper medical care, you should consult with an experienced catastrophic injury lawyer. Find a lawyer that has experience with your type of injury; for example, if you sustained a spinal cord injury, make sure to consult with an experienced spinal cord injury attorney. During your consultation, the lawyer will ask you questions and decide whether or not they will take your case. If the first lawyer you consult does not take your case, don’t panic. Consult with another lawyer until you find someone who will take your case.

Step 3: Investigation

Once a lawyer takes on your case, they will conduct an investigation into how your injury happened. Your lawyer will look through all of your medical records and will seek out any evidence that could help your case in a court of law, such as pictures, videos, and witnesses. Your lawyer will also interview you to get your perspective on how the injury took place.

Step 4: Filing the Lawsuit

After thoroughly investigating the case, your lawyer will officially file your lawsuit in a court of law. Your lawyer will then prepare for trial or settlement. Getting a case to trial typically takes a year or more.

Step 5: Discovery Phase

After filing your lawsuit, the discovery phase begins. “Discovery” refers to the period of time where both parties in a lawsuit investigate the other side’s legal claims and arguments. Each side will send over a list of questions and relevant documents for the other side to review. Additionally, during the discovery phase, each side will interview witnesses who can strengthen their cases. Discovery usually lasts six to twelve months.

Step 6: Settlement, Mediation, and Negotiation

After discovery is officially over, the legal teams on both sides will discuss the possibility of settlement and negotiation. Many cases are settled before they go to trial. Legal teams can settle the lawsuit themselves through negotiation, or they can seek help from a professional mediator. If both sides agree on a dollar amount for the injured party, the case will not go to trial.

Step 7: Going to Trial

If the lawsuit is not settled, the case will go to trial. Trial is a chance for both parties to argue their case in front of a judge and jury. If the judge and jury rule in your favor, they will decide on a dollar amount that the responsible party owes you for your injuries. Some trials lead to people with catastrophic injuries being awarded millions of dollars, while others may result in tens of thousands of dollars. The more experienced and dedicated your legal team is, the more money you are likely to receive through your lawsuit. Picking the right lawyer can greatly affect the money you receive from your case.

Personal injury lawsuits can be complex, and the lawsuit process can be stressful for many, especially those who have recently sustained a catastrophic injury. However, the right lawyer can help you navigate the legal process with ease. Remember to choose a lawyer that is experienced, cares about you, and has the time to take on your case.

The Spinal Cord Injury Law Firm has vast experience in fighting for those with catastrophic injuries. We know the personal injury legal process well, and we will fight for you to receive as much compensation as possible so you can live a safe, healthy, and financially secure life. If you or a loved one has experienced a catastrophic injury, contact us at 1-877-SCI-FIRM or today for a free legal consultation.