How Personal Injury Claims Work: 5 General Phases of the ProcessJune 15, 2020
Personal injury cases generally move forward through these key stages:
- The intake
- The pre-litigation phase
- The appeal process
Here’s a closer look at what occurs during each of these phases to move personal injury claims closer to a resolution.
5 Stages of Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury cases may move through all of the following phases, or they may be resolved before the claim ever reaches the courtroom. If out-of-court resolutions don’t happen, the case can proceed through all of these phases.
Stage 1: The Intake
During this initial phase of a personal injury case, the injured party will meet with a lawyer to:
- Determine who’s liable
- Discuss the available legal remedies
- Gather the necessary information to start investigating the case
- Decide how to proceed, based on the specifics of the case and the injured person’s needs and preferences
Stage 2: Pre-litigation
Pre-litigation is the evidence-gathering process, which can involve:
- Additional investigation
- Evidence preservation requests
- Depositions from witnesses
- And more.
During this phase, it’s possible to discover additional negligent parties and possibly additional options for financial recovery. For example, pre-litigation for a truck accident case may find that a motor carrier and/or an equipment manufacturer, in addition to a negligent trucker, was liable for a wreck.
Stage 3: Litigation
Once it’s clear who the liable party is (or parties are) in a given claim, an attorney can file the necessary documents to initiate the claim and officially get it underway. Other things that can occur during this litigation phase can include (and aren’t limited to):
- Meeting with expert witnesses
- Exchanging evidence with the defense
- Negotiating with insurance companies and others
During this phase—and at any point moving forward, a case may be resolved if:
- The defense makes an adequate settlement offer.
- The plaintiff (the injured party) agrees to accept the offer.
Stage 4: Trial
At this stage, a personal injury case will go to court, and both sides will get the opportunity to present their evidence and arguments. During the trial phase of a personal injury case, here’s what typically occurs:
- A jury is selected.
- Both sides make opening arguments.
- The plaintiff and the defense present their cases and get the opportunity to question the other side’s witnesses.
- Both sides make closing statements.
- The case goes to the jury (or the judge) to deliberate and answer questions on the jury charge (verdict) on liability and damages.
Stage 5: Appeal
A final verdict in a trial may not be the last word in a claim. That’s because, if the trial ends in favor of the plaintiff, the defense may have the option to file an appeal. For example, the defense may argue for an appeal on the grounds of insufficient evidence or incorrect instructions given to a jury.
When appeals are filed after a verdict in a personal injury claim, it will be up to the court to determine whether or not the appeal should move forward or be denied.
A Houston Personal Injury Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm Can Set Your Case Up for Success
If you or a loved one has been victimized by another’s negligence, make sure you have an experienced attorney in your corner, guiding and protecting you at every phase of your case. A Houston personal injury lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm is ready to be your trusted ally and advocate in the pursuit of recovery and justice.
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At the Amaro Law Firm, our experienced attorneys are known for exceptional advocacy, personal service, and outstanding results. We know how to stand up to any opponent, protecting our clients’ rights while working relentlessly to maximize their financial recoveries.
While we know that money cannot erase the impacts of serious accidents and injuries, compensation from personal injury claims can help people heal and restore their lives.
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