What to expect if you file a personal-injury lawsuit
Personal injury — whether it be from an automobile, motorcycle, boating accident or a dog bite — is hopefully something our Central Florida clients have never been through before. Pain and suffering, time out of work, and doctors’ visits usually come along with such injuries, and are not pleasant experiences.
So it makes sense that the process of filing a personal-injury lawsuit is foreign to many who are injured and seeking compensation under the law. Here at the Law Office of Mark A. Cornelius P.A., we understand this and take the time to familiarize our clients and potential clients about the system, what’s required, and when.
Someone who is injured through what they believe is the fault of another person should call the police if appropriate, and seek medical assistance. In the case of a motor-vehicle accident, if possible, take lots of photos of the scene before the cars are moved. If safety requires – move the cars first, but be sure to get photographs of all the cars. You cannot have too many photos. You must seek medical attention in the 14 days after an accident or risk losing insurance benefits for which you paid for in premiums with your hard-earned money.
The Law Office of Mark A. Cornelius P.A. offers free consultations. The majority of cases are handled on a contingency basis. This means we don’t get paid for our services unless you get a settlement from the incident that caused your injury.
REMEMBER: Seek the advice of a personal-injury attorney before speaking with your insurance company.
Basic structureWhile most cases can be settled without formally filing a lawsuit, some require an actual court case to be filed. In a legal case, the injured person becomes the plaintiff, with the person who allegedly injured them called a defendant.
Information on the accident will then be gathered by lawyers on each side and by the insurance company. This is called discovery. The process of discovery can involve transmission of documents, written questions, and depositions (oral questions under oath). Additionally the injured person will most likely be required to be examined by a doctor of the defendant’s choice.
Your personal-injury attorney will be requesting documents needed from police, hospitals and insurers.
After discovery concludes, it’s more than likely a case will be settled, and not go to trial. Only a small percentage of personal-injury actions actually go to trial.
REMEMBER: Never agree to make a recorded statement to your insurance company about an accident that caused your injury. You may need to do so later, but do it with the help of a licensed and qualified attorney.
Reputable representationIn a personal-injury case, your attorney should answer any and all questions you have and guide you through the filing of your lawsuit. Request a free consultation to discuss your situation and learn the next steps.