Filing a personal injury lawsuit in California has certain steps and procedures to follow. Therefore, it can be a little bit overwhelming for those who file it for the first time. In this article we are listing the processes associated with filing a lawsuit for personal injury in California.
Find the right personal injury lawyer
A personal injury lawyer will be the person who files the lawsuit in the court on your behalf. So it is important for you to find a well qualified and experienced attorney to ensure the success of your lawsuit. Collect a list of different attorneys and select the best attorney who has expertise in your own specific area. For example a lawyer who is specialized in car accident cases might not have good experience with slip and fall cases. So select someone who is practicing in the particular area in which you are filing the lawsuit.
Filing the claim
After you decide that you want to file a claim, the next step is to file it in the court. For this you will have to submit related documents showing the different parties associated with the case. You can also include the compensation you expect from the defendant.
Discovery and fact finding
This step involves the processes where lawyers will collect information and data in the form of documents, like the name of potential witnesses, examinations of the accident scene, depositions and other details that will be helpful in the later stages of your case.
Pre-trial resolution, motion
It is the process where the lawyers of both parties take initiations for creating the rules for the litigation process. These motions can be about incidental questions and other times they can bring the claim to an end even before the litigation starts.
Negotiation & settlements
Most personal injury cases are settled out of court. Both parties can reach an agreement on a certain amount of money, and if it is acceptable for both the plaintiff and the defendant, then they can settle the case even before the trial starts.
This is when your trial begins. Your personal injury lawyer will argue for your case. Both sides will present evidences that favor them; testimonies will be also presented in front of the judge or the jury. Cross-examining of the witnesses will be also done during this stage.
After the completion of arguments, the jury will discuss about the evidences and proofs presented. Once they come to a conclusion they will reveal the verdict. The court will order the defendant to pay the victim a certain amount of money as decided by the court.
If any of the parties are not happy with the verdict, they can file an appeal. A panel of multiple judges will hear the appeal and will decide whether the previously decided verdict was right or will make changes to the verdict if needed.