HOW DO PERSONAL INJURY CASES TYPICALLY WORK? Although no personal injury case is exactly the same as another because no accidents are exactly the same, these types of cases generally tend to follow these steps:
Plaintiff is Injured by a Defendant
With the exception of contractual breaches, this can be almost any unscrupulous act on the defendant’s part. Defendant is Determined to have Breached a Legal Duty to Plaintiff
The breached duty is depends on the specifics of the particular case. For example, manufacturers and/or distributors have a legal duty to not allow dangerous or harmful drugs to enter the market.Have a look at The Angell Law Firm, LLC for more info on this.
If there is obvious evidence to all parties involved that the Defendant breached his contractual duty, then the defendant may opt to settle the matter outside of court by offering monetary compensation to the plaintiff in order to prevent the plaintiff from filing a lawsuit against the defendant.
If the plaintiff does not agree to the defendant’s offer, he may pursue in litigation. A settlement can be offered and negotiated after suit is filed at any time until a verdict is announced by a jury or court.
Plaintiff Files a Lawsuit Against the Defendant
When the plaintiff initially files a case, he must be prepared to state what the legal basis of the claim is and what type of remedy he wishes to seek in compensation for his injuries.
The Defendant Files an Answer to the Plaintiff’s Claim
The defendant must answer after being served by some type of official (usually a sheriff or a process server) within a certain period time. If the defendant fails to provide an answer in the time given, a default judgment will be filed and the plaintiff automatically wins.
After an Answer is Filed by the Defendant, the Pre-Trial Period Begins
This period is intended for building each party’s case by collecting evidence to support both sides of the case. Discovery may be filed among the parties, expert witnesses may be hired, and depositions may be necessary during this time.
The plaintiff is required to prove that a duty was owed, that that duty was breached by defendant, that the breach by defendant directly led to harm or injury to plaintiff, and that the plaintiff suffered injuries as a result.
The jury or the judge (bench trials) has the responsibility to determine the Plaintiff’s awards in damages based off of factors such as out-of-pocket medical expenses and the severity of physical, emotional or psychological pain suffered by the Plaintiff as a result of his injuries.