Stages of a Personal Injury Case

If you have been injured in Folsom and find yourself in a personal injury lawsuit, you may want to know more information about what to expect and how the personal injury legal process works.  We have outlined some of the key stages of a personal injury case so you can understand the complexity, and the value of engaging a Folsom personal injury attorney to represent you.

Medical Care

Always seek medical care right away for your injuries.  This is not only critical to your wellness, but it is also important to your personal injury claim.

Make sure to document all stages of medical care.  These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Emergency Room visit
  • Diagnosis
  • Medications prescribed
  • Treatment
  • X-rays, MRIs, cat-scans
  • Physical Therapy
  • Surgery

Don’t forget to record your medical costs and expenses incurred.  This information will be important for your personal injury attorney in dealing with the insurance companies on your behalf.

Lost Wages

For example, if you have to take time off work, write day how many days you take off, and note your work hours, income, and any other economic losses you suffer. Your Folsom personal injury lawyer will ensure your lost wages from the accident are incorporated into your personal injury case.

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

You may be able to settle a personal injury claim with your car insurance company.  Due to the aggressive nature of insurance companies, and the complex nature of settling a personal injury claim that ensures you are getting fully compensated, you may want to consider the help of an experienced personal injury  lawyer in Folsom to help settle your claim and get the most money for your damages.  Hiring a Folsom personal injury attorney is likely a good idea if your medical bills cost several thousand dollars or more; if you have sustained a serious injury; or if you have missed a significant amount of work.

Talk to a personal injury attorney in Folsom to discuss your claim.  The initial consultation is usually free, and the lawyer should indicate whether he or she thinks you have a viable personal injury case.  If you do, the attorney will discuss their fees with you and describe the process of representing you.  Remember that for most personal injury cases, attorneys do not you get paid unless they settle or win your case.

Demand Letter

Once you have hired a personal injury attorney, your lawyer will likely make a demand to try and settle the case out of court, as litigation is very time consuming and expensive.

Negotiation

After the responsible party receives the demand, they may also hire a personal injury defense lawyer to negotiate with your lawyer.  The attorneys may discuss settlement amounts, and your attorney should not accept a sum of money to settle your claim without your consent.

If the attorneys cannot agree on a settlement amount, your attorney may proceed with filing a lawsuit.

Lawsuit Filing and Discovery Process

Once your personal injury attorney files a lawsuit, the other party will file a response, and the discovery process will begin.  In this stage, lawyers propound questions to the other side to discover information and facts about the case, the incident, and the parties.  Depositions may be taken from the parties to the suit or from witnesses.

Settlement or Mediation

If the attorneys are not able to settle the personal injury case before suit is filed, they will again try to negotiate settlement during the discovery process, after filing suit.  The parties may hire a local mediator in Folsom, a neutral lawyer who will help facilitate settlement between the parties.  If a settlement can be reached, trial is not necessary.  If settlement cannot be reached, the parties will agree to move to trial.

Trial

A trial for your personal injury case in Folsom may occur months or over a year after mediation has occurred.  The trial can take days, weeks, or even months.  The results of trial are final.

Summary

Being involved in an accident in Folsom can be traumatic, and have long lasting or permanent effects on your life.  Representing yourself against insurance companies can be daunting, and many times the injured party is not even in a good frame of mind to consider all of the elements of their situation during the negotiations.  Hiring a Folsom personal injury attorney to represent you ensures that your case will be fairly represented, and that you will have a strong legal advocate in your corner.

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