Contrary to what some believe, a personal injury lawsuit is a long and complex process. A case isn’t as simple as an injured individual filing a lawsuit against someone they believe caused their injury and getting money back. In this post, we’ll endeavor to explain the lawsuit process from start to finish.
Following an injury, to begin a case, a Summons & Complaint must be filed in court and served upon the defendant (the party being sued). Due to the fact that the Summons & Complaint must list the basic facts of the case, this process may take several months. The next phase of a lawsuit is preparing a Bill of Particulars. A Bill of Particulars describes the nature of the plaintiff’s injuries, how the defendant may have acted negligently, and an itemization of the plaintiff’s damages.
After the Bill of Particulars is served to all of the defense counsel, our attorneys will schedule a deposition for our clients. A deposition is an out-of-court oral testimony of a witness that is converted to writing so that it may be used in court at a later point. A deposition will typically take place in an attorney’s office; although they can occasionally be held at the courthouse. During the deposition, a court reporter will be assigned to write down all of the questions posed and their corresponding answers. Clients need not be nervous heading into a deposition as our attorneys will prepare them in advance for the type of questions they will face from the defense counsel.
Once the defense counsel has finished deposing our client, we begin our depositions. After our injury attorneys depose every defendant, the case will be put on the trial calendar. Depending upon the status of the court docket, the case may be on the Trial Ready Calendar for a year or more. When all of the other cases on the calendar in front of ours have been called, our case will be called to trial.
While most cases settle, our attorneys prepare every case as though it were going to actually go to trial. Usually settlements do not occur until the jury selection process. In the event, however, that a settlement does not occur, our attorneys meticulously prepare to pursue maximum compensation for our clients at trial.
In addition to the depositions and other preparations we do with our clients, our attorneys spend the majority of the time before the case is called preparing for trial. There is a tremendous amount of work and preparation that our attorneys put into each case. Throughout the time leading up to trial, our attorneys are meeting with experts, preparing exhibits, attending various court conferences, undertaking pertinent medical research in malpractice issues, and preparing for direct and cross examinations at trial. As a result, our attorneys are always prepared to battle on our clients’ behalf come trial.