The Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline
If you have been injured in an accident, the last thing you need to worry about is the legal process. That’s why consulting with an experienced attorney is one of the first things you should do in case of personal injury.
But it’s still important to be aware of the process so that you know what will happen after consulting with an attorney. Here is what to expect after you’ve been injured, sought medical attention and hired an attorney:
- Your personal injury attorney will begin by investigating your claims. He will interview you in order to understand how the accident happened and the extent of your injuries. He will also want to see your medical records and medical bills. This could be a long process depending on the complexities of your case, but it’s important that your attorney thoroughly review the facts so that he can provide effective counsel.
- Many personal injury claims are settled outside of court. After your attorney reviews your case, he might file an insurance claim or seek a settlement agreement with the responsible party (which in some personal injury cases, like a car accident, might also be an insurance company).
- If a settlement can’t be reached, your attorney will file a personal injury lawsuit. Under Florida law you have four years from the date you were injured to file your personal injury claims. However, it could take another year or two before your lawsuit goes to trial. That means it could be six years from the date of your accident before your claims are resolved.
- Once your lawsuit has been filed the discovery process can begin. While your attorney will already be very familiar with the facts of your case, he will need to collect additional evidence to prove your side of the story. This involves interviewing the other side to determine what evidence that they have.
- After discovery is complete, both sides will again try to reach a resolution. This is called alternative dispute resolution, which can be achieved through mediation or arbitration. Mediation is a process in which the opposing sides meet with a mediator to help them reach an agreeable settlement. Arbitration is a type of hearing that is judged by a neutral third party.
- If an agreement can’t be reached then your claims will proceed to trial. The length of your trial and the subsequent jury deliberations depend on the complexities of your case.
- Once a decision has been reached either party may appeal an adverse decision to an appellate court. Your attorney will walk you through your post-trial options and help you decide your best course of action.
Let Us Help You with Your Case
Contact a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney at The Pendas Law Firm today for a free consultation if you have been injured by someone’s negligence. We will walk you through the legal process and make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities every step along the way.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Miami, Orlando, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Daytona and Bradenton areas.