What Are the Stages of a Personal Injury Case?
Injuries caused by another’s negligence can be life altering. The Foley Law Firm is here to help. Our website details the many areas of personal injury law we serve. If you’ve been injured in an accident, we can review the details of your case. If a strong case exists, a lawsuit can be filed to seek compensation for injuries and other losses.
When filing a lawsuit, it’s important for accident victims to have an understanding of what the process entails. With this in mind, the Foley Law Firm would like to discuss the stages of a personal injury case for clients in Scranton, Stroudsburg, Wilkes-Barre, PA, and surrounding areas.
Filing the Complaint
The first stage of a personal injury case is filing the complaint in civil court. The complaint describes what the plaintiff believes the defendant did, how the plaintiff was harmed, and what remedy the plaintiff is seeking.
Serving the Defendant
Once filed, the complaint must be served to the defendant, which basically means delivering a physical copy of the complaint to the defendant and verifying that the complaint was received. Service papers also let the defendant know when they must appear in court.
Pre-Trial and Discovery Phase
In a part of the pre-trial phase called “discovery,” both sides will have an opportunity to ask each other for evidence and other information.
During this time, depositions generally occur. A deposition is a sworn, out-of-court testimony which is used by both sides to ask questions and seek answers from witnesses and the opposing party.
Also during pre-trial, both sides will need to appear in court to determine how the case will proceed. In some cases, both sides may agree to mediation and attempt to resolve the case before going to trial.
If the case doesn’t settle during the pre-trial phase, it will go to trial. During the trial, both sides will present their case. The judge and jury will decide whether the defendant is at fault for the accident and the plaintiff’s related injuries and other damages.
If the defendant is found to be at fault, the court will decide how much the defendant owes the plaintiff for damages.
A personal injury case may settle any time before trial. In some cases, parties may settle even before a complaint is filed. Other times, personal injury cases are decided by a judge and jury who will also determine how much will be awarded in the settlement.
Regardless how a settlement is reached, injured parties may be able to recover financial compensation for such damages as:
- Emergency medical treatment
- Hospital expenses
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Find Out if You Have a Personal Injury Case
Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning there’s no legal fees for you unless we win your case. If you believe your injuries were caused by the negligence or reckless behavior of another person, we encourage you to call the Foley Law Firm at (570) 424-1757 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today.