If you have been injured by the actions of a careless driver, it can be difficult to ever envision that your life will return to normal. You are hurt, cannot work at your job, have a wrecked car and more. Knowing what lies ahead for you might help ease your feelings of uncertainty, so read on for a quick rundown on what to expect when you file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver in your accident:
Get some representation: You can take a big step toward a brighter future by speaking with a personal injury attorney. Since most of these types of lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, you won't need to pay any money to that lawyer unless and until you win your case. If the attorney thinks you have a good case, you can get started on getting some compensation right away.
Try to settle outside of court: While taking a personal injury case to court is always possible, it is not the quickest way to get compensated. Both you and the other side will want to settle the case outside of court, so be on the alert for two main events that could prompt an offer to settle.
1. The demand letter is usually sent soon after the accident and puts the other side on notice that you will file a lawsuit against them if certain demands are not met. This letter might list a summary of the accident and how you were not at fault and a list of your evidence to prove that point. It will include some financial information too, such as the dollar amount of your medical bills so far, your lost wages and other money damages. If your demands are not met, you may need to file suit against the other driver.
2. The deposition is a part of the trial process known as discovery, where both sides share information about the case. Here, all parties meet for question and answer sessions. These sessions are somewhat less formal than a court session but must be taken seriously. All testimony at a deposition is given under oath and can be used in the trial. Often, you may receive a settlement offer when the other side gets a good look at your case.
Taking it to court: In can take some months before your case finally comes up for court, so be sure to review your information about the accident before you show up for your big day. Court cases can go on for a lot longer than you may imagine, with lots of delays caused by scheduling issues, motions, postponements and more. When all is said and done, the judge will render a ruling and, hopefully, order the other side to pay you what you deserve.
You can learn a lot more about this process by speaking with your personal injury attorney. Check out a website like http://www.bangelaw.com for more information and assistance.