No two personal injury cases are alike and, as such, they must each be treated differently. However, there are some general steps that are typically followed in each case. Here is a general overview of some steps that are often involved in personal injury cases:
- Consult with an Attorney: In the aftermath of an accident, it is crucial to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible regarding the circumstances of your case. Some of the details you will want to provide include:
- If a negligent party was involved
- If there is a defendant whom you can hold accountable and seek compensation from
- The extent of your injuries
- Your medical expenses
Oftentimes, personal injury attorneys provide free, no-obligation consultations, so even if you are not sure about whether or not you want to hire an attorney, take advantage of your offer before making any decisions.
- Investigate your case: When you choose a skilled attorney to represent you, he or she should then fully investigate your personal injury claim. This includes combing through police reports, examining the accident scene and photographs, reviewing witness testimony, accounting for all of your medical records and bills, and more. Your attorney should also collaborate with an accident reconstruction expert, medical experts, and other experts in fields that can help strengthen your case.
Additionally, your attorney might also contact any accident witnesses to obtain statements. Throughout this process, he or she should keep you informed.
- The demand package: After conducting a thorough investigation, it will be time to make a demand for a settlement, which will include a letter that outlines your case, including liability and damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The letter your attorney crafts will be reviewed by the opposing party who can then respond with a rejection or acceptance of the demand or a counteroffer. This letter will set the tone for your case, so it is important to make an impression.
- File for a personal injury lawsuit: If you are not able to settle your case, your attorney will work with you on filing a lawsuit to seek fair compensation.
- The discovery phase: Before the trial begins, both parties have an opportunity to obtain more evidence from one another and fully evaluate the other side’s case. In many cases, how your attorney seeks this information is just as important as the information itself.
- Mediation: This is basically an informal proceeding that allows both parties to take another stab at negotiations to see if they can reach an agreement. It is usually overseen by a current or former judge and tends to have lasting effects on a case.
- The trial: If the case still cannot reach a settlement, the next step would be to finally go to trial. During this process, a jury will generally evaluate the facts, determine fault, and decide whether or not to award any damages.
- Appeal: Lastly, it is possible for the losing party to appeal a case, depending on the specific circumstances. The process of appealing a decision is generally quite different compared to the trial process.
Shreveport Personal Injury Attorney
If you have suffered an injury at the hands of a negligent party, we understand that you are undoubtedly going through a difficult and stressful experience. At the Law Office of Robert B. Dunlap, we are committed to protecting those who were harmed by another’s dangerous actions, regardless if the responsible party is an individual or a major corporation.
Get started on your case today and contact us at (318) 562-5044 to schedule a free consultation.