Here’s a great blog post from fellow personal injury lawyer Steve Raiser. Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit is a complicated matter. The reality is that the laws associated with personal injuries, as well as those associated with civil court procedure, are complex and challenging. The best way to maneuver through these laws and procedures is with the professional assistance of a skilled, tenacious, and experienced personal injury lawyer.
The Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations represents what might best be called a technicality that if not dealt with properly can bring your case to an end. The statute of limitations illustrates the types of technicalities in a personal injury lawsuit that necessitate representation by an attorney to best protect your rights and interests.
Each state maintains a statute of limitations The statute of limitations establishes the timeframe during which a personal injury lawsuit must be filed. If a case is not filed within that timeframe, you will end up being precluded from taking legal action to obtain the compensation that you need for your injuries, damages, and losses.
Generally speaking, the timeframe associated with the statute of limitations in most states requires the filing of a law suit two years or three years from the date of the accident, depending on the particular jurisdiction. A personal injury attorney in your state can provide you specific information about the statute of limitations in your jurisdiction.
Investigating a Personal Injury Case
Evidence must be gathered and analyzed in order for you to be able to pursue a successful personal injury lawsuit. An experienced personal injury attorney knows what needs to be done when it comes to investigating a case.
In order to pursue a successful personal injury case, you likely will need the assistance of experts. For example, you may need a medical expert to testify about the nature and extent of your injuries. A personal injury attorney has the contacts with experts necessary to develop the evidence you need to support your case.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Preparing the documents necessary to pursue a personal injury lawsuit is complicated. As a general rule, a layperson is not equipped to undertake this task.
Although there are standard forms available, they are not necessarily legally up-to-par. In addition, a standard form will not meet the specific needs of your case. The preparation of the documents needed to pursue a lawsuit are best undertaken by an experienced attorney.
Discovery Process in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Another phase of a lawsuit that requires legal assistance is what is known as discovery. Discovery occurs during the early phase of a lawsuit. This is a process through which the court directs the other side in the lawsuit to provide your attorney with evidence. For example, depositions are scheduled during the discovery phase of a lawsuit. Depositions are the questioning of different witnesses, under oath and in front of a court reporter.
Settlement of a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Most personal injury lawsuits are settled before they end up in a trial. Because of this fact, it is crucial that you have representation by an attorney with the skills necessary to negotiate a meaningful, favorable settlement for you.
Trial in a Personal Injury Case
In addition to being able to negotiate an appropriate settlement of a personal injury lawsuit, you also need an attorney with trial experience. You need a lawyer that has done more than just studied trial procedure in law school, but one who has logged time on his or her feet in a trial setting in a courtroom.
The process of retaining legal representation commences with scheduling an initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury attorney typically charges no fee for an initial consultation with a prospective client.