Filing a personal injury case can be straightforward or it can be complex. Though each lawsuit will be different, one thing remains constant: you or your loved one was hurt and have decided to pursue justice and compensation for your pain and suffering.
After researching law firms with experience in your type of case you hire an attorney to represent you and your loved ones. Your attorney will utilize evidence and information about your accident to build the strongest case possible for you. It may require interviews, the hiring of expert witnesses and other up-front costs.
At the law offices of Gordon & Partners, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means we cover the cost of whatever is necessary to make your case as robust as possible, and we are only paid when we obtain a recovery for your claim.
What are the Steps in a Civil Lawsuit?
Lawsuits typically proceed through the following steps: pleadings, discovery, trial, and in some instances an appeal, which will follow the trial. A settlement can occur at any time during the pre-trial phases of the case.
The initial paperwork filed in a legal dispute by each side are known as the “pleadings.” The plaintiff files a complaint which is then delivered to the defendant(s). The complaint formally describes the actions or inactions of the defendant that the plaintiff believes led to their injury.
The defendant has a specific amount of time to provide an answer to the complaint. This is how the defendant tells “their side” of the story. Counter-claims could be filed at this point. Both the complaint and the answer can be amended according to requests from either party.
Discovery is a crucial aspect of preparing for the case. During this phase, the plaintiff and the defendant ask each other and any relevant third parties questions about facts and evidence pertaining to the case. The attorneys for each side will conduct thorough research of appropriate laws, interview witnesses, and hire any necessary experts. Discovery is typically the longest phase of the pre-trial process but depends on the events of the case.
Questions may be written requesting more information about facts and evidence during discovery, and depositions may take place. Depositions allow each side to learn what the witnesses believe happened. The parties may also use motions before the trial to ask the court to act. They may seek clarification of claims or evidence. A motion for summary judgment asks the court to dismiss all of a plaintiff’s case or a defendant’s defense.
During the trial, each side presents evidence to substantiate their claims. A brief is provided by each party before the trial, which is an outline of the arguments and evidence each side plans to present to the court.
The jury is then selected through a process known as voir dire. After the evidence has been presented each attorney will give their closing arguments. The jury, under instructions from the court, will deliberate considering the evidence presented by each side; a verdict will eventually be reached.
In the event that either party is not satisfied with the verdict, they may appeal the decision. A higher court will then review the decision as well as the evidence and details of the case. An appellate court can reverse a decision if they see fit or order a new trial. An appeal can extend the litigation process by over a year.
Contact our personal injury attorneys for Help Today
As the lawsuit progresses, you may have questions about whether you will have to go to trial, how long the entire process will take, and how much compensation to are eligible for.
The team of attorneys at the law offices of Gordon & Partners are prepared to answer your questions and are here to walk you through the litigation process step-by-step. With over 180 years of combined legal experience, we can take on your case with confidence and let you focus on getting better.
To see how we can help you today, fill out the free case evaluation form on the right side of this page or call us at 1 (855) 722-2552