What Happens Before a Personal Injury Claim Goes to Court?
Knowing that your personal injury case can go to court can be a little bit intimidating regardless of what the case involves or what has happened. If you watch some of the dramatized versions of court happenings on TV, it is understandable that you would be a little intimidated by thinking that your claim could eventually end up in a courtroom full of people. However, the majority of personal injury claims are settled before they ever reach this point. Take a look at some of the things that will take place before your case ever goes to court.
1. The attorney will try to settle on your behalf.
Initially, the attorney will collect all evidence that they need from you and then work to file a complaint with the guilty party. The defendant or person you are suing will have a while to respond depending on the jurisdiction where you live. Once they do respond, the attorney will work to achieve a settlement by negotiating with the attorney of the party or entity that is at fault for your injuries. This is the most basic part of a personal injury claim, and it may have little to do with you having to speak to anyone. Some cases are settled in this fashion.
2. You may have to go to a deposition.
A deposition is a formal hearing that is usually held in a private room at a courthouse and overseen by a judge or other high-ranking legal official. At the deposition, the attorneys for both parties will be present and you will likely be asked to answer questions after you have been sworn under oath. The questions during this deposition can come from either your attorney or the defendant's attorney. The purpose of the deposition is to get your side of events documented family so all parties involved can decide what is the best way to proceed.
3. A mediation hearing will be scheduled to try to settle your case.
Once the deposition has been completed and the case is not already been settled, you will be required to attend mediation. Mediation involves both attorneys, court executives, a mediator, yourself, and the defendant. The goal of mediation is to reach a settlement or an agreement without having to go to court. The majority of cases are completed during this meeting and never proceed to court. However, mediation does not always help the two parties reach an agreement.
Discover more on how to handle your case by contacting a local personal injury law firm.