The Basics of Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If a lawsuit becomes necessary, your First Coast personal injury attorney will explain in detail what you will have to do. The process is not all that complex, but will involve a number of steps.
Summons and Complaint
After final investigation and preparation, your First Coast personal injury lawyer will file a claim in court by preparing what is known as a Summons and Complaint. This is usually done in the lawyer’s office without your involvement. The Summons and Complaint are served upon the person, persons, or com¬pany who caused your injuries, and the responsible party is referred to as the defendant. You will be called the plaintiff.
Answer to the Complaint
After the defendant is served with the complaint, the insurance company will hire a lawyer to defend the lawsuit and that lawyer will file what is known as an Answer to the Complaint. The Answer usually denies responsi¬bility for the injuries, denies the extent of your injuries, and may possibly seek to bring in other parties who might have been involved in the incident which caused your injuries.
A process is started called discovery in which both sides seek information from each other. You will be involved in this process. The process includes some or all of the following:
1. Questions, called “interrogatories,” which require written answers.
2. Oral testimony from you and other parties called “depositions.” Such testimony takes place in front of the lawyers with a court reporter who takes down the questions and answers in order to prepare a transcript.
3. “Requests for production of documents” in which the lawyers ask for medical reports, witness statements, medical bills, and other documents relating to the case. In most cases, your First Coast personal injury lawyer will have to send such documents to the other lawyer even if they have already been supplied to the insurance company.
4. “Requests for admissions” which is a process that requires the parties to narrow the issues by admitting certain facts that are not in dispute.
5. Pretrial procedures such as motions in court and other tactics that pro¬cess the case to trial.
6. Preparation for trial including possible video depositions of your doctors, meeting with witnesses, writing briefs, and appearances of your attorney before the trial judge.
7. The trial, finally, if your case does not settle before the trial date.
Call us if you have been injured and are seeking a lawsuit to recover damages, call First Coast personal injury lawyer John Fagan for a review of your claim today at (904) 215-5555.