Timeline of a Personal Injury Case
If you are thinking of filing a personal injury claim, you might have questions about what the process entails. Below is a basic timeline for your basic personal injury case; consider where you are in the process and consult a qualified personal injury attorney today for next steps.
Step 1: Get Medical Treatment
The first step in any personal injury case is for the injured party to be treated medically for his or her injuries or illnesses. It’s important to take this step to prioritize your health and also because doing so will demonstrate to a jury down the line at trial that you were seriously injured and required medical attention.
Step 2: Investigating Claims
At this point, the attorney you hired will be investigating your claim and will review your medical records. He or she may look for how and why the accident happened as well as ask you questions about your life and background prior to the accident as well as your medical treatment and attention. The attorney will also acquire all of the bills and medical records pertaining to the injury in question. If there is no case, an experienced attorney will notify his or her client in short order.
Step 3: Considering Making Demands and Negotiating
Many smaller claims can be resolved before a lawsuit is ever filed. If your case may be a good candidate for resolution that way, your lawyer may consider making demands and negotiating with the other party on your behalf to get you as good a settlement as possible.
Step 4: The Lawsuit Is Filed
A good attorney will be familiar with the statute of limitations in South Carolina and will be able to file in time to avoid tolling it. This is when the lawsuit is filed and the rest of the process can proceed.
Step 5: The Discovery Process
The discovery process is the part of the process where both sides gather information from the other about the case. Each side may send the other interrogatories (questions) to answer, and may interview the victim, witnesses, law enforcement, etc. In order to best prepare for the trial, the discovery process is very thorough and can take up to six months depending on what the court will allow and the complexity of the case.
Step 6: Negotiation and Mediation
Once the discovery period ends, both lawyers from each side will probably attempt to settle the case. They may negotiate with each other, or there may be required (or non-required) court mediation to resolve the issue, in which both parties sit with a disinterested third party who acts as the mediator.
Step 7: A Trial
If mediation and negotiations don’t come to fruition, the case may be scheduled for trial. Trials are frequently rescheduled so there is no need to be concerned if yours is. A trial can last a day or more than that. Particularly complex cases may take weeks.
You Need a Good Attorney
Many attorneys are available for personal injury cases. But you want an attorney with experience at your side. You can contact a Columbia personal injury attorney with experience at The Stanley Law Group. Call 803-799-4700 and set up a consultation today.