What Stages Does A Personal Injury Lawsuit Progress?

If an injured victim has failed to get a fair settlement, by engaging in negotiations, the same victim might elect to initiate a personal injury lawsuit.

Pre-litigation stages

Injured victims consult with a personal injury attorney. That same attorney checks to see if the potential client/victim has a legitimate case. No sensible lawyer would agree to work on an illegitimate case. Personal injury lawyer in St. Catharines knows that the next task involves filing a complaint with a civil court.

After the court has received the complaint, the attorney’s next job concerns locating the defendant, and serving that same defendant with a copy of the complaint. Defendants should also get the date for their first court appearance. A notice goes out from the policyholder to the defendant’s insurance company, so that it can arrange a defense team for the policyholder/defendant.

Preparation for trial and actual trial

Both parties attend a discovery session. Depositions get scheduled during same session and as part of discovery, the parties decide on what evidence to show to the jury.

Proceedings that take place in a courtroom setting

Jury selection takes place.
Legal team for each party presents opening statement, questions witnesses, while presenting evidence, and then gives a closing statement.
Judge reads instructions to jury; jury meets in private to decide verdict.
Jury gives its verdict to the judge; judge announces jury’s decision.
The jury’s decision could determine the defendant’s fate.

—If jury has ruled in favor of plaintiff, the defendant’s future could include payment of compensation to the plaintiff.
—Still, the legal system has assured the defendant’s right to appeal the jury’s decision.
—If the jury has ruled against the victim/plaintiff, then no money changes hands; the insurance company does not need to come forward with a payout.

An event that could take place during any of the stages in the lawsuit process

At any point, both parties could decide to settle their dispute, rather than pursuing litigation. Sometimes, the evidence that has been introduced during the discovery session could push one of the disputing parties to feel less certain about winning in the courtroom. Consequently, that same party would elect to settle with the opposing side.

Sometimes the judge might meet with the disputing parties while members of the jury were trying to reach their decision. A request for such a meeting would reflect one party’s concern over what the jury might decide.

Judges do not object to an interruption, regardless of the stage of the proceedings, as long as it could lead to a settlement. However, that interruption must take place before the reading of the verdict. All hope that either party might have had for a settlement has disappeared, once those in the courtroom have heard the jury’s decision.

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