What is the Timeline During a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
While there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ personal injury case, there is a rough timeline on what to expect. Each aspect may take days, weeks, or months, but overall, the effort put in is worth it. When you are struggling to pay bills or to recover from an injury that came from someone else’s carelessness, a lawsuit may be your only chance to recover.
Accident or Injury
The initiation of the entire issue starts with an accident. Personal injury cases cover a massive range of injuries. The basis that ties them all together is that they resulted from someone else’s negligence.
The most common type of personal injury case is a car accident injury. Other injuries, however, can stem from issues with property maintenance such as poorly maintained trees, exposed roots, dangerous structures and the similar. Dog bites also fall into personal injury.
No matter the accident, if you took on any injury because someone failed to provide a proper level of care, you can start a case.
Immediately after any injury, you should seek medical help. It’s a notorious issue after a car accident that people don’t seek medical attention because they ‘feel fine,’ but that’s not the case. If you were in a car wreck, slipped on someone’s property, or were bitten by a dog, then see a doctor.
Finding Legal Representation
After taking on an injury, you likely have some outstanding medical bills. You may have even had to miss time from work, and your recovery may be financially taxing as well. Work with a Tampa personal injury attorney to start a claim to recover a fair amount of compensation for your injuries.
Legal representation is not always easy to find, but fortunately, with a contingency-fee, it may be affordable. Interview attorneys to learn more about their experience and current workload before deciding on who to hire. A prominent law office may shuffle you around from paralegal to paralegal while a small law office may not be able to take on another case. Ask questions and learn more about their process.
Investigation and Review
After you find an attorney, you’ll officially start your case. They will want to investigate your claim and begin reviewing any evidence thoroughly.
With a car accident, this part is fairly easy. Many people know that they should carefully document the crash scene and file a police report. However, in other personal injury situations that may not be the case.
For example, in slip-and-fall cases, many people leave the scene immediately either to go to the hospital, an urgent care center, or home to rest. They may not have taken any pictures or filed any formal reports.
The demand for investigation will depend on your case the unique aspects that come with your situation. While the previous steps in your case may have gone by quickly, the investigation and review step can take weeks or even months.
If your case relies heavily on witness statements, it may take time to depose and interview each person involved. Give this stage of the case time.
Demands and Settlement Negotiation
Many cases reach a settlement agreement before going to court. For many people and attorneys, a settlement is a preferable method for resolution. To initiate a settlement negotiation, you will work with your attorney and possibly some financial experts to issue a demand. A demand is you officially informing the insurance company, or the private party involved that you expect that set dollar amount in compensation for your injuries.
However, that does not mean that you’re guaranteed that amount. The other legal team or insurance company may return your demand with an offer, most likely lower than what you requested. You and your attorney will need to work together to decide if a settlement offer is worth accepting.
Filing a Lawsuit with a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer
If you can’t reach reasonable or fair settlement terms then you lawyer will file a lawsuit for you. That means that the case will likely go to trial and it may take up to two years to get a court date. It’s vital that you file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations.
Finding a Personal Injury Attorney in Tampa, FL for Settlement or Trial
Work with a local Tampa attorney with the law offices of Winters and Yonker. When finding the right lawyer for your case, you will want someone willing to take your case through settlement or trial whichever is best for you. Meet with an attorney now to discuss your options to resolve your claim and the likelihood of you achieving a fair amount of compensation for your injuries.