When an injured person files a personal injury claim after an accident due to negligence, it is important to know that their process may not look the same as another case before them. While this is true, there are very similar stages of a personal injury claim that the majority of injured parties experience. Sometimes, people may move through their case faster than other people. Other times, it can take anywhere from months to years. This can depend on various factors, including the severity of their injury, the number of parties involved in the accident, and the damages that are being sought.
Stages of a Personal Injury Claim
The stages of a personal injury claim usually include the following:
- Hiring an attorney
- Building your case
- Settlement negotiations
- Jury verdict and possible appeals
- Collection of payment
In order to establish liability after an accident, an investigation may be necessary. A personal injury attorney can assist in this by establishing how the accident happened, who is at fault, and the damages that are expected. This is important to know in order to determine what the claim is worth. Damages that may be present can include the following:
- Current and projected medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Current and projected future lost wages
- Any home modifications or adaptive technologies that are necessary
- Property damage
- Costs related to permanent consequences, such as paralysis or loss of a limb
- Any additional expenses related to the accident and injuries
The Process of a Personal Injury Claim
Once a claim is filed, the process of “discovery” can begin. This is when the attorney and defendant gather information for the case. This can include interviews, reviewing documents and reports, and additional investigative methods. With this, the injured party can build a strong claim if they need to prove their argument in court. However, many cases do not even make it to court. Instead, the majority of claims are settled before then through settlement negotiations or mediation.
In the event that this does not happen, a trial will be scheduled. It is important to know that the date for a trial depends on the schedule of the court. It is because of this that it is possible to wait months before entering the courtroom. The length of the trial itself can be a few days or longer depending on if there are any appeals.
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Friedman Schuman is an experienced and dedicated legal resource for clients throughout Pennsylvania. We proudly serve clients facing a wide range of legal matters. If you require the services of an effective attorney, please contact Friedman Schuman today to schedule a consultation.