A personal injury lawsuit can be a long and costly process. Some cases are resolved out of court in a matter of months. However, cases with complex and long-term injuries result in a lengthy contentious litigation process between lawyers representing the injured party and lawyers representing the defendant and their insurer.
Some considerations in personal injury litigation include the following:
- Time Limits – It is critical to understand that you have a limited time in which to file a personal injury lawsuit in court (Statute of Limitations). If your lawsuit (complaint) is not filed within the statutory time limit (each state its own time limit– usually two to four years), you may be barred from pursuing legal action forever.
- Liability – The first consideration is always to determine which individuals or entities can be held legally responsible for the personal injuries sustained.
- Damages – If liability is clear, then the question becomes how much physical, emotional, and monetary damage can be proven.
- Document collection/Medical Evidence – To prove damages/injuries the plaintiff must collect all medical records, bills, and out of pocket medical expenses.
- Experts – In more complex personal injury matters, an expert will give his or her opinion under oath to support the plaintiff’s theory of liability and/or the extent of damages.
- Trial – When the personal injury lawsuit (complaint) is filed, the parties begin the long journey toward a trial by jury or judge. However, at some point in this process and usually before an actual trial, the case is either dismissed or the parties reach a settlement.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution – To avoid the costly litigation and traditional court processes both parties may agree to settle the matter with the help of a neutral third party mediator or arbitrator. A mediator simply attempts to bring the parties together to reach a voluntary agreement. An arbitrator hears both sides of the story and makes a decision more like a traditional judge and court process.
If you are hurt and not sure about your rights or require legal assistant, do not hesitate to contact me via phone at 617-820-8400 or email at Attorneymjkidd@gmail.com.