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What is the timeline of a personal injury lawsuit?

On Behalf of | May 11, 2021 | Injuries

A personal injury accident like a slip-and-fall incident or a motor vehicle crash can be devastating for a Minnesota resident and their family. Their injuries may be serious and painful, and their limitations may keep them from doing their job. In no time, they may face the financial pressures of having to pay accident-related medical bills without their regular income.

Because accidents can be physically and financially destructive to victims, many choose to seek their damages through courtroom litigation. A lawsuit is a legal process that puts two arguments about the same matter before a judge who then decides which of the parties is responsible for the losses. Lawsuits can take a long time to resolve from start to finish, and the first step in the process is often finding a personal injury attorney to represent a victim in their claims.

The early steps in a personal injury lawsuit

As stated, it is not uncommon for victims to work with personal injury attorneys when they choose to sue for the recovery of their accident-related damages. After a victim finds an attorney to work with, they will discuss with their attorney the facts of their case to build claims on which to sue the party who caused their losses. Their claims must be filed in court and sufficient time must be given to the opposing party to respond to the victims claims with their own pleading.

As the parties file their pleadings, they will move into the discovery phase of the case. Discovery is an opportunity for the two sides to seek out more information from each other in an attempt to work through the facts of their case. Discovery can come in the form of interviews called depositions, questionnaires, and other investigative tools.

Getting to trial

Appearing in court is often what individuals think of when they imagine a lawsuit. While a trial and appearing before a judge is significant in the process of litigating a legal claim, the pretrial process previously discussed is also significant because it may lead to a settlement. Not all legal claims are heard in a courtroom. In some cases, the parties to personal injury cases come to agreements outside of court regarding the settlement of the victims claims. When a victim settles a claim, they will generally waive their right to sue the responsible party in the future for any additional losses that they incurred from their accident.

Resolution, appeals, and the future after a lawsuit

Once the parties have had an opportunity to seek information from each other and plead their claims in court, the matter will be decided and a judgment will be issued that will resolve the matter in favor of one of the parties and against the other. The party who loses the trial may have options to appeal the decision and have the matter reviewed by another court. Seeking an appeal is a process that the party can discuss with their attorney depending on the outcome of their trial case.

Litigation can provide the victim of a personal injury accident with an opportunity to recover damages. Without damages, not all victims are able to financially recover from the devastating accidents that cause burdens and setbacks in their lives. Litigation can take time, but it can yield positive results for victims in need. The first step toward seeking the recovery of one’s damages is making contact with a trusted personal injury lawyer.