While every personal injury lawsuit is a unique one, but there are some common procedures and elements that are to be followed in all personal injury cases. These procedures are to be encountered by both the plaintiff and the defendant. If you are filing a lawsuit against someone for a personal injury claim or if someone has filed a personal injury case against you, here are the elements you can expect to encounter.
1. Hiring of Attorney by the Plaintiff
First things first, if you have been injured and want to file a lawsuit, the best path will be to hire an attorney. We, at Christopher Jackson Law, offer seasoned and highly experienced attorneys to work on your personal injury cases.
The beginning of any personal injury case is a personal injury. You cannot expect any personal injury case to go past the summary judgment state in case there is no proof of an injury by the plaintiff. If the damages after the injury appear to be more than $ 5,000, which is the small claims court limit, most of the plaintiffs seek help from a personal injury attorney. You should expect the consultation to be free and later on when it is established that there might actually be a case of personal injury, your personal injury lawyer will go on and carry out further exploratory investigation. They will check whether or not the defendant has sufficient assets or an applicable insurance. This will allow the attorney to understand whether or not the case is viable. If it is, the plaintiff may officially enter into a contract with the attorney to carry on with the court proceedings.
2. Filing a Complaint against the Defendant and Serving it
Now that a legitimate personal injury case has been established by your attorney, the next step is to file a personal injury complaint. This is the first official document in your personal injury case. It lays out in detail the claims of the plaintiff against the defendant.
Once the complaint is filed, your attorney will have a month to find the defendant and serve them the complaint. By serving the compliant, it means to physically deliver the complaint to the defendant ensuring it is done in a way that the defendant cannot later claim that they did not know about the lawsuit. The service papers will also tell the defendant when they need to appear before the court.
3. Hiring of Attorney by the Defendant
The defendant gets a month or more to hire an attorney before they have to appear in the court of law. Finding an attorney is not a difficult task especially if you have an applicable insurance policy or assets.
If the defendant has an insurance, they must immediately notify the insurance company as soon as they come to know about the lawsuit. The insurance company will then supple their own lawyer and pay for them.
4. Pre-Trial Litigation
Before the trial begins, there is a discovery phase in which both the parties will ask each other for witness information and evidence. Both parties will also appear before the court informing the judge about how the case is proceeding. They will also tell about whether or not they have agreed to arbitration or mediation and the trial date.
The process of intermittent court appearances and the discovery may take months or years. The trial date is frequently set back during this process. When the process of discovery seems to have gone as far as needed, the defendant may ask the judge for a summary judgement as the plaintiff cannot win at trial.
Once the case is moving close to the trial, both sides ramp up their efforts as they are engaged in mandatory settlement conferences and meetings. They will also determine and make motions about what evidence will be allowed at the trial.
Eventually, the trial will begin. It can last for several days for personal injury cases. The judge, during the trial, will determine whether or not the defendant is liable for the personal injury caused to the plaintiff and how much in compensation needs to be paid. Each party can then initiate the appeal process which can take time from months to even years. After the exhaustion of the appeal process, the final decision will be made.
5. Try for Settlement
Most of the personal injury cases are settled before reaching the phase of trial. In fact, the plaintiff can even send the first offer for settlement even before filing the complaint. However, in many cases, a settlement is made after the initial process of discovery.
If you live in Kentucky and are looking for an experienced and highly professional personal injury lawyer in Kentucky, you can get in touch with us. Christopher Jackson Law offers its clients assistance in their personal injury cases. At Christopher Jackson Law, we accept cases related to personal injury and criminal defense. We accept case from all over the state of Kentucky. We have been offering our services since 2003 and have helped many clients over the years with their personal injury cases. Christopher L. Jackson, the founder of Christopher Jackson Law, personally handles all the personal injury cases. Thus, you can rest assured that you will be provided the most seasoned expertise on your case.
If you have a personal injury case in Kentucky and want consultation, get in touch with us to get it for free and let us walk your though the entire legal procedure related to personal injury cases.