If you were involved in an accident in Jackson, MS that was caused by someone else’s negligent actions and you are considering pursuing legal action against the person or company, you are probably interested in knowing what the timeline is for a typical personal injury case. While we can’t give you an exact answer to this question as all personal injury cases differ, what we can do is explain what the process is like once you decide filing a personal injury lawsuit is what you want to do.
Assuming you have already begun receiving medical care for your injuries, here is a list of the events you can expect to occur after deciding you want to file suit.
- You hire a Jackson, MS personal injury lawyer to assist with your case.
It isn’t exactly easy to navigate the civil court system on your own, especially if your accident was recent and you are still in the early stages of recovery. It is for this reason and many others that you should retain a Jackson, MS personal injury attorney as soon after the accident as possible. Ballard Law, PLLC is a personal injury law firm located in Jackson that often handles personal injury cases and is available to assist with yours. It is extremely important that you hire a lawyer if you are looking to increase your chances of winning your case.
- Your attorney will conduct an investigation and assess your damages.
In nearly every personal injury case, you are required to prove negligence. In order to do this, an attorney is going to need to conduct an investigation to identify the ways in which the other party was negligent. This will help build a strong foundation for your case. Once a personal injury lawyer in Jackson, MS has determined that the other party was, in fact, negligent (i.e. a store owner failed to maintain a safe and hazard-free premises causing you to slip and fall), they can then assess your damages. “Damages” is a legal term that is used to refer to the compensation an injured party receives to make up for the losses they incurred. Some examples of the common damages that are often awarded in a personal injury case include:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Past and future medical bills
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- An insurance claim is filed.
After an attorney knows what your damages are and how much you should receive for each loss, they can then begin to make an attempt to recover the compensation you are entitled to receive. Given that the other driver was at fault for causing the car accident, you can first file a claim through their insurer in an effort to collect money for your injuries, medical expenses, and other losses you incurred if they have a policy that covers all of this. Although an insurance payout can help you during this difficult time, you should remember that carriers typically undervalue claims as they don’t want to provide you with the maximum amount you are eligible to receive.
In the event the insurer doesn’t want to pay you what your claim is worth, refuses to reach a settlement agreement with you, or the policyholder doesn’t have adequate insurance to cover your losses, the next step will likely be to file a personal injury lawsuit.
- File your personal injury lawsuit with the clerk of court.
Sometimes, personal injury lawsuits are filed against insurers when they refuse to pay a claimant what they are entitled to and other times, a lawsuit is filed against the negligent driver who hit you. Depending on what the circumstances are after the insurer has responded to your claim will determine who will be named as the defendant in your lawsuit.
- You and the other party will have the opportunity to meet and see if a settlement can be reached.
If you are able to reach a settlement agreement with the other party, then the case would end there and it would not be necessary for you to go to trial. However, if the party you are suing doesn’t want to reach a settlement agreement, then the case will proceed on.
- Prepare a plan for discovery and disclosure.
During the discovery process, both parties are able to gather information and prepare for trial. According to Cornell Law School, “the federal rules also provide several tools that can be used to get information from other parties, including interrogatories, depositions, and requests for admission. A party may also compel other parties to give them access to documents, real property, or other things for review or testing.”
- The case goes to trial.
Although there are some actions the other party can take while the discovery process moves forward, the case will eventually make it to trial where both parties will present their findings and a judge and/or jury will rule on the matter.
Now, if you think filing a personal injury lawsuit is something you might need to do or you would like to learn more about how the process works, contact Ballard Law, PLLC to speak with one of our trained and knowledgeable Jackson, MS personal injury attorneys.
You can reach Ballard Law, PLLC at:
108 S. President Street
Jackson, MS 39201