Many things happen after getting hurt due to someone else’s negligence. A top concern for those injured when seeking help from a personal injury lawyer is whether or not they will have to endure going to court in order to try and get compensation. When you first file a personal injury claim, you will be working with a lawyer who will try and negotiate a settlement on your behalf with the other side. However, sometimes these negotiations do not get finished successfully. If this is the case, then you will be advised that the next step may have to be going to court. What does that mean exactly?
Why Court Proceedings Are Necessary
In the cases where settlements with the opposing side are not reached, the next step is always to proceed to court. This gives the presiding judge the ability to either asses a compensation for you to cover your injuries or asses who is at fault for the accident. This is referred to as the liability judgement.
Will I Have To Go To Court?
Even if your case needs to be sent to court, you will still have time up until the actual court hearing to reach an agreement with the other party involved. However, if a settlement does not get reached before the court date, then you will have to prepare yourself for court proceedings. For court, you are going to need to show proof of your injuries and provide evidence surrounding the circumstances of the accident. Your lawyer from a personal injury law firm can help you prepare for court if you are required to go.
This part of a personal injury case is where both parties investigate the claims being made by the other parties. They will find out their legal claims and defenses for the case. Each side will also send questions and document requests to the other. This process can last anywhere from a few months to over a year depending on the complexity of the case and what the court deadlines are.
Negotiation And Mediation
The next step will be where the negotiation begins. In many cases, the lawyers from each side will work together to come up with a negotiation. If both sides agree to the compensation, the case will be done. However, if the lawyers cannot settle it alone, then both parties will go to mediation. This is the process in which both lawyers and their clients will go in front of a mediator in hopes of settling the case.
What Happens In Court For Personal Injury Claims?
In many instances, personal injury cases are settled before they have to go to court. However, if it doesn’t get settled in mediation or before the court day, the trial will have to begin. A trial for a personal injury case can last anywhere from a couple days to weeks. In some states, these cases take longer because each day the trials are only held for a half day instead of a full day. This automatically doubles a trial length. It is done to give judges and lawyers time to do other things they need to do for preparation in the afternoon.
One of the most important things to realize about going to court for a personal injury case is that just because a court date is set for the trial does not necessarily mean that the trial will be held that day. Court dates get rescheduled often because of the schedule of the judge. Do not automatically assume that just because your court date gets postponed that something bad is going on. Many clients get anxious when court dates get rescheduled because they think it means that the lawyers for the other side are conspiring against you or something is happening that could result in a bad outcome for your case. Trials get delayed all of the time and for very innocuous reasons, too.
The idea of having to go to court for a personal injury case doesn’t have to scare you in any way. With the help of personal injury attorneys, you can be confident that the outcome of your case will be a good one even if negotiations aren’t settled during initial talks or through mediation.
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