If you are injured due to the negligence or recklessness of another person, you may have grounds to file a personal injury case. If so, there are several steps involved. The best way to get through them as quickly and easily as possible – not to mention with the best possible results – is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. When you do so, there are three main steps you can expect your case to follow.
Documents filed in court that form the basis of any lawsuit are known asp leadings. The lawsuit is filed against a party by another party. The actual filing of the document in court is known as either a petition or a pleading. The person who has brought the personal injury claim is known as the plaintiff. The person or party who has the case brought against them is the defendant. The petition includes all the facts of the case such as the parties involved and why the plaintiff believes the defendant owes them damages.
After the plaintiff files their petition, an officer of the court will file a summons to the defendant. This is usually done by the Deputy Sheriff or a process server. The document informs the defendant that a lawsuit has been filed against them. It gives them a specific period of time during which they can respond. Their response, which is known as an “answer” is then filed by the defendant, prepared by the attorney, and given to the defendant to sign. The defense attorney may also file a motion to dismiss if they believe the case is not valid.
After the action has been filed, both sides of the lawsuit are able to “discover” facts about the other side’s case. This is aptly known as the discovery phase. Generally this will start with written interrogatories. There may be depositions, production of records, and even medical examinations required. Both sides can serve written questions to the opposing party. These are called interrogatories and must be answered within a set time, both in writing and under oath.
In most cases, depositions are the best way to learn as much as they possibly can about the other side or about the claim. A deposition will collect information, which is given under oath, that is then transcribed. It can be used by either side and is the same, legally speaking, as testifying under oath.
If the process of going to trial is intimidating, then you may be pleased to know that more than 90% of cases are decided outside of a courtroom. To learn more about how your case is most likely to be handled, contact Law Offices of Patrick S. Aguirre at 800-572-1252 for a free legal consultation.