WHAT IS A PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT?
A personal injury lawsuit is a document that an injured person files with the court asking the court for money damages to compensate them for an injury. The document is called a complaint. A complaint is a legal way of saying what happened, who is at fault, and what you are asking for to compensate you for your injury. Many of my clients are unclear about exactly what it means to file a personal injury lawsuit. It should be said that 95% of all personal injury claims do not require a personal injury lawsuit. Instead, they are settled for an amount of money that both the inured person and the at fault person agree to. If a settlement cannot be reached, a lawsuit may be necessary.
What Happens After A Personal Injury Lawsuit Is Filed?
Once a lawsuit is filed with the court, both sides will engage in something called discovery. This a legal term for providing information back and forth so that each side understands exactly what evidence exists to support each side’s arguments. Discovery includes asking questions on paper about the background of the people involved int eh lawsuit, as well as information about exactly what happened that led to the injury. Discovery may also include a deposition of the injured person, as well as the at fault person and anyone else who might testify in court about what happened.
How Long Does It Take To Resolve A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Once a lawsuit is filed, it will usually take months, and sometimes years before the case is heard by a jury. Most cases settle before going to a jury – a settlement is the quickest way to resolve a personal injury lawsuit once it has been filed.
Do I Need A Lawyer To File A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
You do not have to have a lawyer to file a lawsuit. However, it is strongly advised that a lawyer handle a lawsuit; there are many legal requirements to how the lawsuit is worded and who is named in the lawsuit. A small mistake in how the lawsuit is worded can cause your lawsuit to be dismissed.
If you have any questions about how to file a lawsuit, or questions about a lawsuit that has already been filed, please Contact Us at the Minick Law Firm at 828-333-5024.
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James Minick is a criminal defense attorney in Asheville, NC and is the owner of Minick Law, P.C.