Four Common Questions About Personal Injury Cases
If you’re injured and looking to file a personal injury lawsuit, chances are that you have many questions running through your mind. While we can’t answer all of them, we will use this post to address four common questions asked about personal injury cases:
- Do I have to go to court?
- What is mediation?
- What happens during a personal injury lawsuit?
- How long do I have to file a claim?
Do I Have To Go to Court?
Not necessarily. Although your first thoughts after getting injured and considering a personal injury claim could be of lawyers battling in a courtroom, this doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, more often than not, mediation is successful. The majority of personal injury lawsuits filed in the United States never go to trial. Mediation is successful, often resulting in a faster resolution that costs you less in legal fees.
What Is Mediation?
Speaking of mediation, you will want to be familiar with the process since it’s a useful tool that may be used before trial. As a trusted lawyer, like a car accident lawyer, could tell you, mediation is the negotiation process that falls under “alternative dispute resolution.” Mediation takes place between the parties as an attempt to negotiate and settle the claim. The involved parties are entitled to have an attorney during the process.
Mediation is conducted by an impartial third party known as the mediator. The mediator works with both parties to attempt to come up with a mutually beneficial agreement to resolve the claim. However, mediators cannot provide you with legal advice. The mediator may be chosen through a shared agreement between you and the other party, or the mediator may be selected by the court.
What Happens During A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
When you initiate a personal injury lawsuit, it is usually following a demand for compensation and an unsuccessful attempt to resolve the claim without a lawsuit. The plaintiff (injured party) files a complaint and the defendant then receives a certain amount of time to file an answer. Both parties collect evidence, including taking testimony of witnesses and preparing forensic evidence, and receive an opportunity to resolve through mediation and pre-trial settlement negotiations. If negotiations fail, the personal injury lawsuit heads to trial.
How Long Do I Have To File A Claim?
After your injury, you must act swiftly to file a personal injury lawsuit. You are bound by the statute of limitations–the time limit decided by law in which you must bring the case–in your state. In most cases, the statute of limitation is two years. While you should file your case well in advance of the running of the statute of limitations, technically your case will fall within the statute of limitations even if you file it one day before the statute of limitations expires. However, you should not wait that long!
With these four common questions answered, you’re now better equipped to move forward with your personal injury case. Our friends at Herschensohn Law Firm, PLLC want you to remember that you have a limited timeframe in which to file your claim, and mediation may be a great opportunity. If you want to see how a lawyer can help, set up a consultation at your local law office now.