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What You Need to Know About Personal Injury Lawsuits

Posted on July 1, 2016

You’ve been bitten by dog, or hit by a car. Or maybe you tripped and fell on a step that was in need of repair. You may be due compensation under the laws governing personal injury.

Do you have a valid case?

To prevail in a personal injury case, three things must be proven:

  1. The plaintiff suffered a true medical injury
  2. The defendant was negligent
  3. That negligence caused the injury

What do you need to do?

  1. See a doctor as soon as possible after the injury to get medical documentation. Personally document the severity of the injury and the time it takes to heal.
  2. Talk to an attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney in Philadelphia can guide you through the process and help gather information, documentation and evidence that will bolster your case.

Stages of a Personal Injury Case

  1. Court Paperwork – Your attorney will file your initial complaint (lawsuit) and all following motions and answers.
  2. Discovery – Your attorney will gather information to help build the case. This will include evidence gathering, witness and expert interviews, photographs, depositions, and more.
  3. Settlement – The defendant may offer you compensation to settle the case instead of going to trial, to save them the cost and time of litigation.
  4. Trial – If you decline a settlement, or if the defendant does not offer one, the trial process starts, beginning with selecting a jury. The judge and jury will hear arguments from both sides, starting with opening remarks and ending with closing arguments that summarize each side’s points.
  5. Judgment – The jury decides which side prevails and, if they have found for the plaintiff, what the compensation award should be. (It is important to note that collecting an award is not automatic and can sometimes take time; your attorney will work with you during this process.)
  6. Appeal – If either side is unhappy with the outcome, they may file an appeal. That means the decision is subject to review by a higher court. That court has the power to reverse the decision made at the trial.

If you are looking for a winning Philadelphia personal injury attorney, contact us. Consultations are always free.