Being injured in an accident or other personal injury incident can create a significant financial burden for you and your family. By holding the person who injured you liable for damages, you can receive monetary awards for your injuries and damages. While many personal injury cases are settled through negotiation, a small percentage of cases cannot be settled. For those cases, a california personal injury attorney Can file a suit to pursue the claim in court.
What Are the Steps for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Los Angeles?
Each personal injury case is unique. The facts and circumstances of the case determine the time frame of the settlement and how much the personal injury claim is worth. However, in most personal injury cases similar steps are taken to resolve the claim.
The first step in a personal injury case is to investigate how your injury occurred. We must identify all the factors that led to your injury and the party responsible for each factor. Only those parties who directly and proximately contributed to the cause of your injury are liable for your damages.
During the investigation, we gather evidence to prove the elements of a claim of negligence or intentional tort. Usually, we have to prove that the other party owed you a duty of care and has breached that duty of care. Then, we have to prove that the party caused injury and you suffered loss.
Depending on the complexity of the case, it may take several months to complete the investigation. In some cases, we may hire experts to assist us with the matter, including medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, financial professionals and experts in other fields relevant to the matter.
full medical treatment
You receive medical treatment while we investigate the cause of your injury. Your recovery period is one of the most important factors that affects the timeline for a personal injury case.
We must wait until you have reached maximum medical recovery before attempting to settle an injury claim. The settlement of the claim before your complete treatment and discharge by your doctor may result in very little award for the damages.
Typically, negotiations begin with a compromise offer. we draw up an agreement letter of demand to send to the insurance company. The demand letter includes the following:
- Description of how the accident happened
- Legal analysis of why the other party is legally liable for your damages
- a detailed discussion about the type and severity of your injuries
- Account of your pecuniary and non-pecuniary loss
- a specific amount for settlement
The insurance company may accept the settlement demand. If so, it issues a settlement check, and you sign a settlement agreement. However, most insurance companies make a counter offer for a lesser amount. Settlement talks with multiple counterparties may continue for several weeks. If the insurance company refuses to agree to a reasonable settlement amount, the next step is to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Los Angeles
It can take a year or more for a case to go to trial. There is no guarantee that you will win the case. Therefore, before filing a lawsuit, we discuss all options, chances of success, and any potential weaknesses that may harm the case. If you decide to pursue litigation, the steps are:
- Plaintiff (injured party) files complaint with the clerk of the court
- The complaint is served on the defendant (the party who allegedly injured the plaintiff)
- The respondent has a specific number of days to respond to the complaint
- The parties engage in discovery by exchanging information, evidence, and documentation.
- One or both the parties can make statement to get the affidavit outside the court
- The parties may engage in settlement negotiations before going to trial.
- In the trial, both the parties present their evidence
- Jurors decide whether they believe the allegations and evidence presented by the plaintiff or defendant and deliver a verdict.
A judgment for the plaintiff includes an award for damages. Jurors decide how much money the defendant must pay the plaintiff for damages. However, the defendant can appeal the decision, so the matter may not be resolved at this stage.
Most personal injury lawsuits in California must be filed within two years of the date of the injury, or within one year from the date of discovery of the injury. However, there are exceptions statute of limitations, To avoid losing your right to file a lawsuit, contact an attorney as soon as possible after an injury or accident.
Contact Our California Personal Injury Attorneys For A Free Consultation
Has another person hurt or harmed you? If so, we would like to help you recover compensation for your injuries, damages and other losses. Contact Our Law Office To schedule a free consultation with an experienced California personal injury attorney to discuss a personal injury claim.