The Stages In The Litigation Of A Personal Injury Case And The Hurdles That Must Be Crossed Before A Case Can Be Settled, In any personal injury case, the litigation begins when our client files the lawsuit.
Once the lawsuit is filed, the negligent driver has 28 days to answer a client’s Complaint. After the negligent driver and the other Defendants in the case have answered the Complaint, the attorneys send questions called Interrogatories and request documents called Request for Production of Documents. These Interrogatories include questions about the accident, witnesses that the negligent driver will provide at trial, and provide all of the Defendant’s defences in the case. We also send questions that request information about the accident, the insurance coverage provided and the defences in the case. Once these questions are answered, the parties also exchange documents that include all of the insurance policies, accident reports, medical records, bills and other damage documentation.
After written discovery is completed, the parties take the sworn testimony or depositions of all of the witnesses and parties. During the discovery process, the court will conduct occasional hearings to monitor the status of trial preparation. These hearings are often called “status conferences” or “pretrials.” The judge will set deadlines for the lawyers and check to see that the lawyers are cooperating in exchanging the necessary information in a case. However, most courts do require you to be present for a final pretrial close to the trial date because that is often the time that settlement discussions occur.
We always mediate all of our cases. Most of our cases resolve at mediation. The parties hire a mediator who is usually a private attorney or judge to facilitate negotiations between the parties.
If your case has not settled at a mediation, we continue to aggressively prepare for trial. We will have several discussions with you regarding the witnesses we will use, the evidence we will put on, and how much compensation we are going to ask for from the jury. Our expenses will significantly increase at this stage. We will prepare all of the necessary exhibits to be submitted to the jury, and meet with you and the other witnesses.