No matter how cautious we are as individuals, there are innumerable dangers that we all encounter every day. Most of these pass us by without event, in fact we are usually unaware of them and don’t even notice that they have passed us by. However, if you are injured due to someone else’s negligence then you might have a legal case against them. It is important to pursue these cases against negligent groups and individuals so as to encourage them to take their obligations seriously.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
A personal injury lawyer advocates on behalf of those who have been unfairly injured due to malice or negligence on the part of another party. A common misconception is that hiring a lawyer means an individual must necessarily fight their case in court. In fact, hiring the services of a lawyer doesn’t mean you intend to sue, all it actually means is that you want someone who understands the law to be able to advocate for your rights. Most lawyers and their clients prefer to settle cases amicably without going to court and in the majority of cases this will also be the preference of those who are liable for any injuries you have sustained.
After securing the services of a personal injury attorney, it might seem as if little progress is being made. This is because the first thing your lawyer will want to do is collect the necessary evidence and documentation to proceed. This will include witness statements and any photographic or video evidence of the site where you were injured and of any injuries you sustained. This information is vital for building an effective case and it can take some time to procure all the necessary items. Your lawyer should keep you updated on any progress, but do not be alarmed if at first things appear to be moving slowly.
Once your lawyer has collected the necessary materials, they will proceed with taking their case to the relevant insurance company and attempt to negotiate a settlement with them. After negotiations, they will come back to you and discuss the offer, if one is made. If you reject the offer or are unable to secure one, then you will proceed to litigation.
The Litigation Process
If you are unable to negotiate a settlement, then your attorney will file a lawsuit or request arbitration from the courts. At this point, the defendants will have a limited time, usually 30 days, to respond to the complaint. Once these have been received by the courts, then the process of discovery begins. Discovery is the time before the trial when any and all documentation each side holds that is relevant to the case is shared with the other side. This is crucial to ensure that each side can adequately prepare their arguments and ensures a fair hearing for everyone involved. Once discovery has been completed then a trial date can be requested and the courts will select an appropriate date for each side to present their case to a judge.
Personal injury lawyers provide an invaluable service. Sustaining an unexpected injury can have serious knock-on consequences for an individual, especially if they require follow up medical care. If you find yourself in the position of sustaining an injury, and you think this could or should have been prevented, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer on whether you have a re