Personal injury cases can be long and complex. It can be tough to remember how many steps there are between filing your lawsuit and receiving your damages payout. Plus, even if their cases are strong, many personal injury victims don’t know what fair settlement they can expect.
To clear up some of the confusion, this article will explore the personal injury lawsuit process in detail. On top of that, we’ll break down some of the potential settlement offers you might receive upon a successful lawsuit verdict.
If at any point you’d like someone to walk you through the process, you can speak with a member of our experienced personal injury legal team at 1-800-966-4999.
Step 1 – Get Medical Treatment
Regardless of the type of injury you have experienced, the first thing you should do after any personal injury accident is seek out medical treatment. No matter the extent of your injuries or how guilty another party is, filing a lawsuit can wait.
Furthermore, getting medical treatment helps you acquire valuable evidence for an upcoming lawsuit. When you acquire medical care, you can get evidence like:
- Police reports (if the police were involved in the incident)
- Doctors’ notes and/or other medical records
Many personal injury lawsuits require accident victims to prove that they received medical attention for their injuries. Evidence like bills from the hospital can go a long way toward proving you need compensation for one or more injuries suffered because of the negligence of another party.
To learn more about receiving proper medical treatment after an accident, please call 1-800-966-4999 for your free consultation with a Schwartzapfel Lawyers personal injury pro today.
Step 2 – Collect All Notes & Medical Records
After receiving medical attention, you should then collect the available evidence. For example:
- Ask your hospital or clinic for records of your treatments (Note: You should make multiple copies of all medical expenses)
- Contact the police department who handled your case (if applicable) and ask for the police report for the accident or incident
- Gather eyewitness accounts from people who may have seen the incident
- Write down your own recollection of the events as honestly as you can
Gathering this evidence ahead of time will streamline the lawsuit process and should allow you to file your lawsuit more quickly.
Step 3 – Contact Legal Professionals
Personal injury attorneys are valuable parts of any lawsuit process. You should contact them after your condition is stable and after you have received a full explanation of your injuries and upcoming bills.
That way, you can break down the case in detail to your attorneys, who will then be better equipped to handle the lawsuit at hand. Depending on the legal team you hire, they may provide you with key information such as:
- When you should file your lawsuit
- Whether filing a lawsuit is advisable
- Some cases, for example, are narrow enough that you may be better off filing a different lawsuit or pursuing other means of financial compensation.
- Who to file the lawsuit against
- In some personal injury accidents, multiple parties could be partially or mostly responsible for the injuries sustained. Your legal team might be able to tell you who is legally responsible for your injuries and, therefore, who is liable for damages.
If any of this is unclear, or if you have questions, please reach out to Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. at 1-800-966-4999. You will be able to speak with an experienced member of our team, 24/7, at no charge.
Step 4 – File a Lawsuit Against At-Fault Party
With personal injury attorneys on your side, you can begin filing a lawsuit against the at-fault or negligent party. In New York state law, a negligent party is one that:
- Has a clear or implied duty to others
- Fails that duty to other people
- As a result of that failure, directly or indirectly, causes injuries to another person
Negligence may cause a wide range of personal injuries. Here are a few examples:
- A doctor arrives at work inebriated from consuming too much alcohol the night before. Consequently, they botch a surgery, causing injuries to their patient. As they were negligent during their operation, they are now liable for a personal injury claim.
- A distracted driver hits a pedestrian who was crossing the street. The driver is held liable because the pedestrian had the right-of-way and the driver is discovered to have been on his phone during the incident. In this case, the driver had an implied duty to drive safely to prevent injury to other people.
Step 5 – Discovery Phase
In any legal case, the court proceedings start with the discovery phase. In the discovery phase, both parties investigate the legal claims and defenses for the other’s side. They may send questions to one another or different legal teams and document requests from the other side. They also take depositions for relevant parties and witnesses, including the plaintiff and defendant.
Depending on the complexity of the case and its timeline, the discovery phase could last for a few weeks or, more commonly, several months up to a year. If you hire skilled personal injury attorneys, they may be able to shorten the discovery phase by bringing overwhelming evidence to bear against the defendant.
Calling Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. is the easiest way to get a legal team on your side ASAP. We’re reachable 24/7, online or by phone. But you shouldn’t wait. Simply dial 1-800-966-4999 to hear about all the ways we will fight for you.
Step 6 – Mediation and Settlement Negotiation
The next phase of a personal injury lawsuit is the mediation and negotiation stage. Lawyers begin to talk about settlements and compensation during this step in the process.
In many cases, the law firm will settle the case by discussing amongst themselves or by bringing their clients’ requests to each other. For example, a personal injury victim may request compensation for past and future medical bills. Their personal injury lawyer brings the request to the lawyer for the defendant, and both legal teams hash out the details.
In other cases, both legal teams and clients may go to mediation. Mediation is a non-trial process where the clients and lawyers speak with a third-party mediator. The mediator acts as a neutral party to resolve the case without bringing the matter to trial, which can be lengthy and expensive.
Step 7 – Trial (Optional)
But in many circumstances, personal injury cases do proceed to trial. Cases trials must be scheduled for dates in the future, often weeks or months in advance.
Again, depending on the case’s complexity, a personal injury trial may last for a single day or, more commonly, several weeks. Furthermore, a personal injury case must match up with a judge’s schedule.
During the trial, your personal injury attorneys will present evidence in favor of your side of things and try to prove negligence on behalf of the at-fault party. If successful, the at-fault party will be required (either personally or through their insurance policy) to foot certain bills or provide certain damages.
Step 8 – Receive Compensation
In the aftermath of a successful personal injury lawsuit, you may receive compensation for your medical bills or other damages as determined by the court/judge. In many New York personal injury cases, damages (i.e. monetary compensation) are awarded in proportion to a determination of fault.
For example, say the judge determines that you were 30% at fault for a car accident but the accused party was 70% at fault. They would be responsible for 70% of the monetary damages calculated, including medical bills or broken property.
What Kind of Compensation Can an Injured Person Receive?
This will depend on the specifics of your case and the damages sustained from the accident. For example, if your injury-related medical bills total over $100,000, you could recover financially for this amount or more.
In most personal injury cases, damages are awarded via insurance companies rather than directly out of the pockets of citizens. But this can vary from case to case. In total, you could receive compensation for:
- Both your past and future medical bills
- The pain and suffering experienced because of your injuries
- Loss of ability if your injuries resulted in paralysis or loss of a limb/function
- Loss of income if your injuries require you to lose a substantial amount of work pay
Why should you hire a lawyer? Knowledgeable, prepared attorneys may help you secure fair compensation amounts ranging from several thousand dollars up to many hundreds of thousands of dollars. They also help you keep up to speed on the statute of limitations for your claim, meaning that you file within a certain amount of time. Keeping up with all of that on your own can be tricky and time-consuming. Moreover, the likelihood of receiving a significant payout is directly connected to the effectiveness of your legal team.
Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. has a long history of winning personal injury cases for our clients. For example, one of our clients received $2.7 million after being struck by a truck while another received $2.1 million at the end of a successful slip-and-fall lawsuit.
You can contact us today and ask about our prior successes either online or by giving us a call at 1-800-966-4999.!
Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today!
Personal injuries are tough enough to handle even without considering the lengthy and complex processes of lawsuits. To help secure payment for your medical bills and other accident-related expenses, allow Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. the honor and privilege of fighting for you!
Want to learn more? Contact us today at 1-800-966-4999 to discover how Schwartzapfel Lawyers can collect evidence for your case, protect your interests, and go to bat for you when the time comes to show up in court. Reach out to us now for a free consultation. It won’t cost you a thing and may save you more than just money.