If you are considering filing a Personal Injury lawsuit, it is helpful to understand the stages involved. The following is not intended to be legal advice or an exact process for handling a law suit, but to educate you about the process so you know what to expect
- Choose your lawyer soon after the injury. It is in YOUR best interest to have an objective, experienced counsel from the outset of your lawsuit. The complexity of civil procedure dictates the need to hire an attorney
- Once you have chosen a lawyer, he will interview you about your accident, your background, medical condition and treatment. Your thoroughness in providing information and honesty in answering questions is essential
- The lawyer will then gather all medical records, claims, bills and insurance documents related to your accident. Gathering this information can take anywhere from a week to months.
- Once this information is collected, the attorney will analyze the information and determine if there is a potential case. Personal Injury attorneys work on a contingency basis and are highly skilled at being able to predict outcomes. Then know what is needed to pursue a case.
- Though settlement can be reached at any time during a lawsuit, at times a settlement can be reached without having to go to trial. A personal injury attorney will submit a figure for settlement after obtaining your consent.
- If settlement cannot be reached, the attorney will initiate a lawsuit by filing a Complaint on your behalf. The Complaint indicates to the other party (the Defendant) that he is being sued as a result of the accident. The Defendant then seeks his own counsel, who in turns replies with an Answer to each of the allegations. At this point, the case has begun.
- Discovery occurs next. Both sides have the right to obtain information about the case by means of depositions, interrogatories or medical examination. Facts of the case determine your success or failure. Under the law of Delaware, there are no longer any secrets in personal injury lawsuits.
- If your lawsuit cannot be settled for a fair amount, after discovery is complete, the attorney will prepare your case and proceed to trial. Formal trial begins with opening arguments. Trial involves the presentation of physical evidence as well as oral testimonies by both sides. These serve to support or discredit the client’s case. Closing arguments to the jury are made at the end of trial.
- A jury will then deliberate and will issue a final judgement, which if in the Plaintiff’s favor, will involve monetary damages that the Defendant must pay the Plaintiff to compensate for personal injuries. A trial can last anywhere from a day to weeks.
At Hudson & Castle, we approach each case ethically, honorably, and skillfully, beginning with a free consultation, continuing with the convenience of flexible appointments, and finally, charging you nothing unless we win or settle. We also handle cases on behalf of our clients who are Delaware residents but have been injured in nearby Pennsylvania. Please call Hudson & Castle at (302) 428-8800 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am- 5:00pm, ET) or contact us, and we will get back to you shortly to discuss your case.