The Step-By-Step Progress In A Personal Injury Lawsuit
Sometimes the negotiations between the claimant and the adjuster do not go smoothly. When that happens, it becomes the claimant’s job to consider the wisdom behind hiring a lawyer. With a lawyer’s help, it would become possible to file a lawsuit.
Initial steps in pursuit of a lawsuit
The personal injury lawyer in Norwalk files a personal injury complaint in the civil court. Same lawyer arranges for the complaint to be served on the defendant. It may take up to one month of the lawyer to locate the defendant. The same lawyer combines that complaint with papers that give the date for the scheduled court trial. The defendant hires a lawyer, or arranges for his or her insurance company to provide one. The plaintiff must wait for a response from the defendant.
Steps that follow receipt of defendant’s response
A discovery session is held. Lawyers from both sides get to depose witnesses. The two sides share their evidence. Both sides need to make a progress report available to the judge that has been assigned to that specific case. Each side has a chance to present a possible motion. The defense could present a summary motion, asking for dismissal of the case. Either side could submit a motion, asking for the judge’s refusal to allow introduction of a certain piece of evidence.
The jury selection takes place, and then the trial begins. The lawyers give their opening statements. Then they question the witnesses and show the evidence to the jury. Before the members of the jury start their deliberations, the lawyers give their closing statements. After that the jury deliberates, in an effort to arrive at a verdict.
The jury returns to the courtroom and announces its verdict. The judge then reads the punishment for the defendant. Normally, it is just the money that compensates the plaintiff. Sometimes, though, a defendant must pay punitive damages, as well. At that point either side could seek an appeal. If an appeal gets granted, there must be another trial. That trial could support the decision made at the first trial, or it could reverse that same decision.
Does every lawsuit contain all of those steps?
No, the two sides have the ability to reach an agreement at several different stages. For instance, during the discovery, the defendant might learn the extent of the plaintiff’s evidence, and decide that it would be better to accept an out-of-court settlement.
Even during the trial the lawyers might meet with the judge in the judge’s chambers. Sometimes such a meeting can lead to introduction of and finalization of a settlement agreement. Such procedures have the ability to reduce the amount of time required for bringing an end to a lawsuit.