If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence or intentional act, you may have a personal injury case. When the party that is at fault or their insurance company refuses to pay a reasonable amount to settle your claim, you will need to file a lawsuit in order to preserve your right to get compensation. When you are facing the possibility of a lawsuit, it is helpful to know what to expect. A Collinsville, IL personal injury attorney can help handle your claim and answer any questions you may have.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Illinois law does not force you to hire a personal injury attorney to take care of your lawsuit, however, it is a smart idea. This is because insurance companies have hundreds of defense attorneys at their disposal. Their job is to discover ways to get your lawsuit dismissed or to pay you as little money as they possibly can.
File the Lawsuit & Serve the Defendant
Every state in the United States limits the time that you have to file a lawsuit seeking personal injury compensation. If you miss out on the deadline, you will then lose the right to hold the defendant accountable. The papers that get filed with the court in order to start the lawsuit must comply with all of the applicable rules. The defendant also has to get served with those papers properly. If this is not properly done, this can result in the dismissal of your lawsuit.
After the defendant is served with the initial pleadings, both sides are to find out as much information as possible about the accident. They will try to build their own case and tear down the other side’s case. Interrogatories, depositions, and requests for the production of documents happen during this stage.
Court Conferences & Pre-Trial Hearings
Before the case is set for trial, there will likely be several trips to the courthouse for status conferences, settlement conferences, and arguing motions. The court will try to encourage the parties to settle the case, or resolve as many issues as possible prior to the trial.
Negotiating A Fair Settlement
The majority of personal injury cases settle out of court. This is why having a personal injury attorney is crucial as they will make efforts in order to get you a fair settlement without having to go to trial. These negotiations can continue during the trial as well.
The Personal Injury Trial
Both sides during the trial will present their evidence to the judge and also cross-examine the other side’s witnesses. Unlike what you typically see on the television, most of the time is spent waiting. After each side rests, the jury or judge makes a decision.
If you have a trial with a jury, they will deliberate in the jury room until they reach a verdict on the case. In a bench trial or a trial without a jury, the judge decides the results. After a judge will take the case under submission. This means that they will decide on the case at a later date, which could be weeks or months.
If either side is unhappy with the verdict of the trial and they have legal grounds they can appeal. Appellate rules require the appealing party to file specific papers to the court within a limited number of days.
If you are in need of a personal injury attorney, give our team at Brunton Law Offices a call today!