Our attorneys start with gathering all the information they need as it pertains to your case. This will include examining the extent and nature of your injuries, whether there is permanent damage or scarring, and the potential parties at fault. After examining those factors, our focus would then shift to your level of need as it relates to personal support. Do you need time off from work? Do you have medical bills? Will you need future treatment? Will you need a vehicle? Furthermore, there is a structured process of going about a personal injury lawsuit that begins once you hire an attorney.
After you consult with an attorney and establish that your case is valid, the next step is to file a complaint with the civil court. Your legal representative will do the filing for you. Essentially, this legal document broadly describes the details of your allegation — the severity of your injury/injuries; how the at-fault driver acted negligently. Once the complaint is filed, the plaintiff’s attorney has about a month to serve it to the defendant. This basically means physically delivering the complaint to the defendant so that they cannot claim to have not received it. Lastly, the document will have a date listed which tells the defendant when he or she needs to appear in court.
This is a pre-trial process in which both sides of counsel exchange and disclose witness information and evidence. Both legal counsel members will appear in court with each other in front of a judge to talk about how the case is proceeding and soon thereafter will come up with a trial date if deemed necessary. During the discovery process, each attorney will conduct depositions of the opposing party (and witnesses). A deposition involves an attorney questioning the opposing party, and the opposing party is allowed to have their legal representative by their side.
Consequently, the discovery process usually will soak up a significant amount of time. However, once the discovery phase comes to a close, the process starts to speed up as both attorneys may try to agree upon a settlement offer. If not, then the case is headed to trial.
The trial phase can take upwards of several days to a couple of weeks, possibly longer. Here, the judge determines whether the defendant is blameworthy for the accident and subsequently the plaintiff’s damages. If the judge (sometimes a jury) decides the defendant is at fault, the next decision he or she makes involves the amount of money owed to the plaintiff to compensate for their damages. Furthermore, if the defendant then believes the judge’s decision to be wrong or unwarranted, his or her attorney can appeal it. Appeals make these cases take longer than they should but once a final appeal is made, the losing party will be required to pay whatever amount that was decided on. It should be noted that most personal injury cases are settled before trial and can be settled at any point throughout the entire process.
Please Contact The Fitzpatrick Firm if you have more questions about hiring an Atlanta personal injury lawyer.
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