What Happens When I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In legal terms, a personal injury takes place when the body, mind, or emotions suffer harm. This is in contrast with damage that may occur to property. Personal injury claims seek to determine the liability of the person who caused you to suffer this injury and also recover damages to cover what you have lost.
When does the time come to file a lawsuit for personal injury?
It may come when, after trying to negotiate with the other party, the negotiation process breaks down and there is no way to come to an agreement. This point may be reached when the insurance adjuster denies that their policyholder is at fault or they do not agree with how severe your injuries are, much less on the amount needed to compensate you for the amount you are demanding.
How do you go about filing a personal injury lawsuit?
Since the first step in filing a personal injury lawsuit is drafting and then filing what is referred to as a petition, it would be advisable to start by getting the right legal help. A personal injury attorney will have the needed skills and expertise to draft this legal document whose purpose is to inform the Court who the parties are, what the elements for the plaintiff to bring about this lawsuit are, and alleges that the other party or the defendant is responsible for what happened. It ends by requesting relief and explaining the extent of the injuries and what the plaintiff is seeking. All this must take place within the definition of the statute of limitations which, in the state of Georgia, is two years from the date the injuries occurred.
Once the court receives this petition, the ball is set in motion. At this point, the defendant must be served with a copy of the petition and the Court will issue a summons in which the defendant will be ordered to come forth and file an answer to this petition.
What comes next?
The next step is called discovery. This means that at this time both parties will have the opportunity to learn or discover what the other side is claiming and what evidence they are presenting. During this period there will be a written and oral exchange of questions and answers. Additionally, subpoenas will be issued, and records will be ordered. Depending on the nature of the accident, the discover period may last 4 to 6 months. However, if the case is extremely complex, it may extend for years.
What fees are associated with filing a lawsuit?
Through a successful negotiating process with the other party, you may actually avoid going to Court. However, if reaching a deal is impossible, some of the most common fees associated with a lawsuit are:
Court filing fees
Cost of having a sheriff serve your lawsuit
Cost of the Court reporter for depositions and transcripts
Fees paid to experts that provide medical testimonies at depositions and at trial
Copyright costs associated with obtaining medical records, police reports, and others
Loss of earnings for the time you must take off from work
Never let your anger or hurt move you to file a lawsuit. A free case evaluation with an experienced personal injury lawyer will help you have realistic expectations about the value of your claim. Find out more at georgiatrialfirm.com.