Most people associate aggressive court battles with insurance companies with personal injury cases when considering hiring an injury lawyer. However it is more common that personal injury cases settle before a trial is ever needed. In other words, in most personal injury cases, litigation is never pursued and a lawsuit is never filed.
These agreed-upon settlements happen in a phase that is often called “pre-suit” or “pre-litigation” and often still requires an attorney to reach a desirable conclusion. But what happens if the parties involved can’t come to an agreement?
The case then moves to a process called Litigation.
What is Personal Injury Litigation?
Litigation is a general term that refers to the process of taking legal action through the court system.
If you’ve been in an accident and have suffered injuries, you may have missed work and racked up some pricey medical bills. It can be stressful to worry about how you will pay your bills while you try your best to heal and get back to work as soon as possible.
Personal injury litigation generally includes an injured party or individual who brings a lawsuit to civil court to sue the negligent party that caused their injuries in order to seek compensation for physical trauma, lost work hours, and medical expenses.
In other words, personal injury litigation involves legal action in court for the purpose of seeking monetary damages for economic losses.
So who is involved in personal injury litigation?
- Litigants: All parties involved.
- Plaintiff: The party bringing the suit to court.
- Defendant: The party being sued.
What are the steps involved in personal injury litigation?
To begin litigation, both the plaintiff and defendant will need to acquire adequate documentation, information and evidence to support their case. This is the time that any witnesses will be gathered as well as depositions from opposing sides and witnesses. Any and all necessary supporting evidence will be acquired to help your side of the case.
Meeting with expert witnesses may occur during or after the discovery phase of litigation. Expert witnesses are typically professionals with expertise in a certain area pertaining to your case. For example, doctors or accountants may be requested by the court to make a statement from their professional point of view. Expert witnesses are used to add legitimacy to specific claims within your case.
If either plaintiff or defendant files a motion with the court regarding the case, your case is in litigation. Motions are smaller decisions to be made by the court, in relation to your case.
In certain circumstances, the parties involved or their lawyers may work together to come to an agreement with discussions surrounding settlement decisions. This eliminates the need for court involvement and side steps the need to go to litigation.
During litigation, you and your attorney could be preparing for hearings or trial. All cases that go to litigation also go to trial. Preparing for trial essentially encompasses all of the steps above, including gathering statements, meeting with witnesses, and working through motions.
When a case reaches trial, it is officially in the hands of the judge and the decision of the court. Trial will bring an end to the litigation process by way of final order or judgement. If the courtroom rules in your favor, you will be compensated according to their judgement. With the help of an attorney with a proven track record in court, you could come out of litigation very successful!
If you’re considering taking your personal injury case to court, it can be helpful to have an experienced attorney on your side. If you’re curious about what the litigation process would look like for your personal injury case, we urge you to call one of our attorneys to discuss this topic in further detail.
Remember, not all attorneys are experienced in handling litigation.
Pipas Law Group is a trusted personal injury litigation firm who will take your case to trial and fight for what you deserve.