Stages of a Personal Injury Case
Accident and injury lawsuits take many forms, but the basic stages of a personal injury case generally remain constant. The resources below will teach you about each step in the process and help to detangle the often confusing rules of court procedure. Find out a) what to expect when you meet with an attorney; b) what court filings will be involved in the beginning of a lawsuit; c) how the two sides exchange information to establish facts; d) how and why cases settle or otherwise end before trial; e) what happens at trial; f) how to collect on a judgment, and much more. These articles are sure to prepare you for what’s happening once you walk into court.
- Meeting with an Attorney
Learn what will likely happen when you meet with a lawyer -- including information the attorney will want to know and details on how things proceed should he or she take your case.
- Starting the Case: Initial Court Papers
Your attorney should explain each step, but here you can learn basics on Complaints, Answers, and other motions involved at the beginning of a lawsuit.
- Fact-Finding and Discovery
Find out about "discovery" -- the process by which opponents in a lawsuit get information from each other to establish facts in the case.
- Resolution before Trial: Motions
Many cases get resolved by Motions to Dismiss and other motions which ask the court to cut the case off before trial.
Far more injury lawsuits settle than go to trial. Learn the basics of settlements, as well as factors you should consider.
- What Happens at Trial?
Trials are not like those shown on TV. Find out what really happens -- from jury selection, to opening arguments, witness testimony, closing arguments, and all the way to a jury's verdict.
- Collecting Money after Judgment
Winning at trial is not final victory. Collecting on a judgment often requires work. Find out what you should keep in mind when looking to collect.
- Appealing a Decision or Judgment
Learn how appeals work -- including the differences between trials and appeals, what gets into the "record on appeal" and what happens afterward.
- After a Judgment: Collecting Money
- Appealing a Court Decision or Judgment
- Fact-Finding: Understanding the Discovery Process
- Resolution Before Trial: Settlement
- Resolving Your Case Before Trial: Court Motions
- Starting a Lawsuit: Initial Court Papers
- Structured Settlements: Pro's and Cons
- Time Limits to Bring a Case: The "Statute of Limitations"
- What Happens at Trial?
- Writing Demand Letters to Settle Personal Injury Claims