Most personal injury cases will be resolved without a lengthy court case. If yours does go to court, a personal injury lawyer can explain what you should expect at a pre-trial event. He can also explain how the pre-trial process can still result in a favorable financial settlement.
The steps in the pre-trial conference can include a hearing before a judge who will meet with you, the at-fault party, and your respective legal representatives. The judge will then assess the validity of your case. The judge may ask about the possibility of settling the case without a trial, address and rule on any pre-trial motions that have been filed previously, and ensure your case was filed in accordance with your state’s statute of limitations.
The Pre-Trial Process Can Be Lengthy
Before your case goes to court, it might need to pass through several different phases. This can take months and in some cases, years. On your own, it can be difficult to understand the nuances of the personal injury legal process and navigate the paperwork, filings, testimony preparation, and other steps along the way to trial.
A personal injury lawyer who is familiar with state and local law can help you at each phase. Demand and settlement negotiations are only one part of your case. While the majority of cases are resolved this way, our law firm is on your side in case yours goes all the way to court.
Discovery and Interrogatories
In all legal cases that proceed to court, the plaintiff and the defendant are required to share the evidence and information they have. The discovery phase is important because it gives you and your attorney a sneak peek at what you can expect at trial. This can lead to the discovery of evidence you might not have previously been aware of.
Interrogatories are written questions that are similar to a formal, in-person discovery session. If you are required to sit through an interrogatory, your lawyer will help you prepare your deposition here and at trial.
After interrogatories and discovery are concluded, many cases are still settled without a trial. In fact, a settlement can come at any point before, during, or after the trial.
The Relevant Statute of Limitations
As part of the process of preparing your case for trial, your lawyer will file a lawsuit for you. Your lawyer may take this step even if you are in the negotiation phase of your case as a protective measure. If your lawsuit is not filed on time, you will be prohibited from filing it at all.
Even if you manage to file your lawsuit after the expiration date, the defendant’s lawyer will request — and is very likely to receive — an immediate dismissal. This action will leave you with no legal avenue that can compel the at-fault party to compensate you. A personal injury lawyer can ensure your case is filed on time and help you protect your right to go to court.
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The Judge Will Address Many Legal Issues at Your Pre-Trial Hearing
A pre-trial hearing allows the judges and lawyers for both sides to review some of the details of your case before the actual trial begins. Issues that may be addressed at this phase include the following:
- Legal issues and strategies and pre-trial motions
- Dismissal of frivolous personal injury cases
- Review statements of liability made by either party
- Review rulings issued on previous legal briefs
- Review of relevant evidence and documents
- Issues surrounding jury selection, if applicable
During the pre-trial motion, a tentative review and assessment will also be made to help determine the timeline of your court case.
Reviewing Your Recoverable Damages Is Part of the Pre-Trial Process
The judge in your trial will also want to review your damages request. He may request information on the following types of recoverable damages:
- Past, current, and future medical bills
- Past, current, and future loss of income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Ongoing physical pain and suffering
Although you can request many of the same types of damages as other injured parties, your case will have a unique monetary value based on your specific injuries, their severity, and the financial impact of your injuries on your life and lifestyle.
A personal injury lawyer will review your damage request to ensure it is accurate and within the confines of the law.
Contact Us for a Free Reviews of Your Personal Injury Case
If your personal injury case goes to trial, our law firm will ensure you understand what you should expect during the pre-trial phase of your case. We will also make sure you are prepared for trial and your case gets the attention to detail it needs and deserves.
Contact our case review team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers for a free consultation and to get started today.