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Los Angeles Law Blog

By John Kristensen of Kristensen, LLP posted in Personal Injuries on Thursday, September 5, 2019.
Stages of Personal Injury Cases

The idea of an impending lawsuit can be an intimidating one. On the one hand, if you’ve been a victim of a personal injury as the result of another party, it’s a promising course of action that could be the catalyst you need to help you recover and get your life back on track. On the other hand, most people have never experienced the process of a personal injury lawsuit, and have no idea what to expect. That’s why we’re here – to make the journey from start to finish as understandable and straightforward as possible. Here is what you can expect from each stage of a personal injury case.

Get medical treatment
It goes without saying that the first thing you should do upon sustaining injury is seek medical treatment. Your health and wellbeing are the absolute top priorities. Additionally, not seeking medical attention may hinder a lawsuit later, and it may be said in court that you must not have been too hurt. Don’t risk your health or your case – put your treatment first.

Contact our firm
A case is not put into motion until legal counsel gets to work. Although it is possible to represent yourself, it can be a big risk if you lack a legal background. If you lose the case, you may be left with no compensation for your injuries and expenses, so it’s typically not worth it to forgo having a professional attorney on your side.

We investigate the claim and review medical records
Our first course of action will be to hear your account of the incident and review any corresponding documentation from any medical treatment you’ve received. Please do not omit any information, as surprises in court can easily cost a case.

Demands versus negotiations
Many cases are settled before there is even a trial, which can save a lot of time. In cases where there is a clear case, we may make a demand to the other attorney or the insurance company. If a lawsuit is filed, it is generally good for a lawyer to postpone until a client is as healed as possible, if the client can afford to do so. This will maximize the possibility of the final settlement, so this is a great strategy, but depending on the injury it could take months or years.

File the lawsuit
This is the point where the countdown begins until the actual trial. It may take one or two years.

The discovery process
This is where each team investigates the other’s legal claims and defenses. There may be questioning, documents being exchanged, and depositions. This can last six months to a year.

Mediation and Negotiation
Here, a case may be settled based on the information found in discovery. It may be negotiated among themselves, or in front of a third-party mediator.

If the last step fails to yield a favorable settlement, then the case goes to trial. Trial can last a day, a week, or longer. If the case is won, you’ll have your final compensation and peace of mind.