Irrespective of the cause of your personal injury and the severity of damages or injury in your claim, sometimes settling the matter out of court doesn’t work out. When this happens, an experienced legal representative from The Clark Law Office can file a lawsuit for your case in court. After filing a lawsuit, the judge sets deadlines of phases for processing your lawsuit. Because the process can take months to years based on the facts and intricacy of your case, some of the things that happen when your claim goes to court include:
Processing and Attending Pre-Trial Phases
Regardless of the type of personal injury claim you have, you’ll attend and process pretrials once the matter goes to court. Also known as a pretrial conference, an injury claim pretrial phase is a meeting between involved parties, including the defendant, accused, lawyers, judges, and magistrates. The meeting usually takes place before the trial formally begins. Although there are many reasons for processing and initiating a pretrial discussion, the primary purpose is to allow parties to discuss matters affecting the case and reach conclusions before determining whether finishing up the case in court is the best option or not. Some of the things that happen during a pretrial personal injury claim discussion include:
- The Complaint and Answer Phase Processing – During this phase, a document known as the Complaint detailing allegations against the accused is provided. The document contains information about how the victim is injured and the extent of injuries and damages. You file the complaint document in the county where the accident occurred or where the defendant lives. Once filed, the Complaint document is given to the defendant to answer and agree to the allegations. After denying or admitting to the claims, the judge then proceeds to the following steps, including:
- The Discovery Phase – during this phase, you’ll be processing the exchange of information between parties regarding witnesses and evidence. The purpose of a discovery phase is to narrow down issues such as how genuine the evidence is. It also serves to make all parties aware of the evidence presented at the trial.
- Motion Phase – Besides the complaint and discovery phases, the law takes your injury claim to court and handles an additional step called the motion. The motion phase is a proposal written to the court requesting asked-for orders, ruling, and directions for perfectly dealing with the matter. Also, because personal injury law contains different motions, the ones you present for your case must include all the details and follow the standard practices for filing such motions. Motions are to consider and hear both sides’ arguments of the case before making a final verdict.
Going to Mediation
Mediation is the second thing that happens after pretrials if your case goes to court. During mediation, parties find a neutral mediator and discuss the best options for dealing with the matter before leaving it to the law. At the mediation, parties present their arguments and engage in settling the case via negotiations. A negotiation agreement comes from the mediator who is expected to be unbiased and completely neutral. Also, the defendant and the victim are free to accept or deny the terms of mediation.
Going to Arbitration
Besides mediation, an alternative method is going for arbitration. Arbitration is a technique for resolving disputes outside of court where evidence is reviewed and assessed before the law releases the case for you to settle outside of court. The process can be mandatory or voluntary based on the severity of damages and injuries involving the subject or the number of cases the court is handling at the time. During the arbitration, a hearing between the defendant and the victim takes place. The judge solves the matter through a neutral party expected to ensure everyone is protected. Also, unlike mediation, where the parties can agree or deny, arbitration is binding, meaning the arbitrator makes the final decision; hence none of the parties can approve or deny the final decision.
Going to the Final Trial
When the pretrial, mediation and arbitration phases fail to finalize the matter, the final step is trial. During the phase, parties provide evidence with the plaintiff being given a chance to argue their case for the jury to examine and determine what happened. It’s also the stage where ruling takes place where the defendant may be found liable for injuries and damage incurred by the victim. Regardless of the case’s severity, the trial is the final step to finalizing such a claim.