Steps of a Personal Injury Case in Los AngelesUpdated on Saturday 25th February 2017
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Individuals who have been injured in an accident in Los Angeles and want to file a claim for their losses should know that every personal injury lawsuit has certain steps that need to be followed. The case will be solved to its particularities and the settlement will be determined according to the degree of negligence and other relevant factors.
Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys can legally represent you if you decide to take legal action and file a personal injury lawsuit.
Hiring a Los Angeles personal injury attorney and making the formal pleading
Every accident is different and the impact on the victim is not only physical. The first step after a personal injury is to seek the appropriate medical attention and then hire a lawyer that can represent you in court and help you build a solid case. The personal injury lawsuit begins when the plaintiff (the injured party) files a formal pleading, the complaint. This document is the first official description of the accident and it also includes information about the compensations requested by the plaintiff. After the complaint is served to the defendant, he or she may admit or deny the facts and an also submit a counterclaim.
In the pre-trial phase, both parties will try to gather as much evidence as possible to support their case. This step is called the “discovery” phase. This is also a good time when the parties may agree to solve the case through arbitration or mediation, if possible, instead of court litigation.
Our personal injury lawyers in L.A. can help you at this stage by collecting depositions from witnesses and other third parties. Some personal injury cases can be solved quicker than others. Dog bite injuries are usually solved quicker because the law stipulates that in this case the fault is solely attributed to the owner of the animal.
Our lawyers invite you to watch a video on the most important steps that need to be taken after a personal injury accident:
Settlement or trial
Most personal injury cases in Los Angeles end with a settlement concluded by the attorneys that represent both parties. Personal injury cases can be solved through an informal settlement if the parties can agree upon an amount that will satisfy the plaintiff and will cover all the expenses related to the accident, including medical bills and damages brought to goods.
The defense attorney can sometimes file a motion to dismiss during the early stages of the trial, even before the discovery phase is complete. The aim of the motion is to present the fact that the defendant believes the complaint to be legally invalid. Possible motives can be based on the fact that a certain court cannot rule on a matter, that the facts of the complaint do not make up for a legal claim or that the court is not located in a site that is considered an improper venue (even if it has jurisdiction). One of our personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles can go over these cases with you to make sure that a motion to dismiss cannot be used by the defendant.
If the parties cannot agree on a settlement or refuse to do so the trial will begin. A judge will hear the case and determine if the defendant is liable or if the case is a shared fault personal injury case. The judge will also establish the damages the defendant is required to pay. After the trial, any of the parties can initiate an appeal.
If you want to initiate a personal injury lawsuit and need legal advice and representation you can contact our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys.