A General Timeline for Personal Injury Lawsuits
At the Tawwater Law Firm, we pride ourselves on being advocates for the people of Oklahoma City. We are some of the leading personal injury attorneys in the area, assisting the injured and their loved ones in their time of legal need.
Many clients have asked us what they can expect from their personal injury case. Let's go step by step through the process with this general timeline for personal injury cases.
Seeking Medical Attention
Following the initial injury or accident, the injury victim seeks medical attention for the harm that has been caused. This is imperative in that it ensures a person gets the help needed as soon as possible, and this also establishes an injury really did happen. Failure to seek medical attention soon after an injury or accident may signal to the insurance adjuster that there was no actual injury that occurred.
Selecting a Personal Injury Attorney
The next step in the phase is to seek the help of a personal injury lawyer. Your attorney can help determine the best course of action moving forward. Ideally this should happen soon after you have sustained your injury since the legal process can take time.
The Personal Injury Attorney Investigates the Legal Claim
Your attorney will conduct an interview with you to determine the exact cause of the accident and what transpired with regard to the injury.
The Personal Injury Attorney Examines Medical Records
In addition to interviewing a client about the injury sustained, an attorney will also examine all of the medical records and medical bills associated with the injury to determine if you have a viable legal claim to make.
A Settlement May Be Negotiated
Next, the lawyer will file a claim with the insurance company associated with the at-fault party. A claim's adjuster will then examine the claim and perhaps negotiate a settlement. This occurs when insurance companies are involved. If no insurance companies are involved, a legal document requesting settlement to cover injuries may be sent.
Filing the Lawsuit
When a settlement cannot be reached, a lawsuit is then filed. This will involve the filing of a complaint or petition, and serving the at-fault party with legal papers. At this point, claims and counterclaims can be issued, which we've previously covered on this blog.
The Discovery Process
The discovery process allows the legal representative for the plaintiff and defendant to seek evidence and build their respective cases. This includes examining evidence, speaking with witnesses, and so forth. This process can take months and even up to a year depending on the nature of the accident/incident.
Mediation and Negotiation
Before going to trial and as the discovery process winds down, there is usually one last opportunity for a legal settlement to be reached. This helps avoid the need to go to trial, and a mutually beneficial arrangement may be negotiated between the plaintiff and defendant in these cases.
The Trial Phase
The vast majority of cases are settled out of court in the mediation phase, but if a settlement cannot be arranged, the personal injury case will then go to trial. Trials can take time to schedule, they can take a long time to reach resolution as well. The length of your trial can be weeks or perhaps months, though your attorney will be able to help you throughout this ordeal.
Speak with the Lawyers at Tawwater Law Firm
To learn more about your legal options following a serious injury, be sure to contact our personal injury law firm today. The lawyers of the Tawwater Law Firm will fight diligently for you every step of the way.