Do You Understand Litigation?
Many times, insurance companies are not having realistic settlement talks. They are making low ball offers or are denying liability all together. When this occurs, we have to file an official lawsuit in the courts. Clients often do not understand the litigation process and what they should expect at every step of the way. Below is guide to help clients better understand what is happening with their lawsuit if we must file suit.
- Meeting with Your Attorney: Before filing suit on your case, your attorney will have you in for an office conference. They will explain all the pros and cons of filing a law suit. They will walk you through the process and prepare you mentally for what is to come.
- Complaint Filed: A formal complaint will be prepared by your attorney. They will have you sign the complaint which lays out the counts against the defendant. Then the complaint will be formally submitted to the court and be served on all defendants.
- Answer is Filed: An answer is another formal court document in which the defendant either admits or denies each claim made in the complaint.
- Discovery Begins: The discovery process can be very long and complicated. Sometimes discovery can take several years to complete.
- The first step in discover is serving interrogatories on the defendant and you will be served by interrogatories as well. Interrogatories are a set of questions that both parties must answer. These questions will generally ask about information concerning your past life, work ability, the facts surrounding the accident, and the losses incurred since the accident.
- After both parties have a better idea of the facts of the case and the allegations of the other party the case is ready for depositions. Before a deposition your attorney will meet with you and give additional advice about handling the questions during the deposition. Depositions are a formal sit down question and answer meeting. Both sides will be present, as well as the attorneys and a court reporter. The court reporter will transcribe everything said on the record at deposition.
- During any law suit both parties have certain documents, pictures, or materials that the other side will want access too. A request to produce will be filed with the court. Most of the time these will include any medical records related to the accident, photographs, or maybe even tax returns. This will give both sides a better idea of what exactly occurred during the accident and how you have been hurt due to the accident.
- Mediation: In most cases the court or the parties will schedule a lawsuit for mediation. A mediation is a settlement conference between you, your attorney, the defendant, and their attorney. Mediators are specially trained to help settle disputes. The mediator will go back and forth between the parties and see if a settlement can be reached. All discussions at mediation are confidential and any offers are not admissible at trial
- Trial: If your case is not settled at mediation a trial date will be set. During this time preparing for trial your attorney and you will be in communication coming up with a game plan for trial. They will have you into the office and go over the details and what to expect.
The above list is not a complete list of everything that will occur if you have to file a lawsuit on your personal injury case. As you can see, it is a very complex and complicated process. You need experienced attorneys on your side that can help you through this difficult time. The Brooks Law Group has 25 years of handling personal injury cases in the Tampa Bay area.
If you or a loved has been the victim of an auto accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or slip and fall please contact the Brooks Law Group. We will make sure that you get the compensation you deserve and be your teammate as you go through this difficult time. Get your free consultation today at (863) 299-1962. Offices Tampa, Lakeland, Winter Haven.