A personal injury claim is a civil legal dispute that arises when a person is harmed from an accident or injury which is formally resolved through a determination of liability and damages.1 In the event that an injury or accident, proceeds to filing a personal injury lawsuit there are standard elements and stages to a claim which proceeds to trial.
Stages of a Personal Injury Lawsuit
After an accident or injury, the first steps are concentrated on seeking emergency assistance and taking safety procedures. In many cases, this will include notifying the police to respond to an accident. The most important element is seeking medical treatment which is important not only for an injured party’s health, but because an early medical diagnosis is an essential element to determining loss and showing causation between the injury and accident.2
The next important element of a personal injury lawsuit is choosing an attorney to represent your interests and rights.3 Selecting an appropriate attorney may include consideration of an attorney’s personality, communication skills, promptness, willingness to work, and ability to address any questions you may have in an initial consultation.4
After an attorney is involved with your case, the lawsuit becomes focused on determining and proving liability and damages. The first step in this process is often based on investigation through accident scene reconstruction, conducting interviews, and reviewing medical records. When a case is filed with the court, it then typically takes between one and two years for trail to start, but in many smaller cases settlement will occur prior to filing or before a case is heard at trial.5 The next stage of a lawsuit often is the discovery process which allows a party to learn about adverse claims and defenses by taking depositions, this process may typically last from six months to a year.6 The end of the discovery process triggers another opportunity for negotiation and settlement. The final formal stage of a personal injury lawsuit is the trial itself which can last a day, a matter of weeks, or several months, but will aid in an official resolution.
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you have been involved in an accident or sustained some form of injury, it is important to discuss the circumstances of your injury with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help to protect your legal rights and interests. To contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.