Life can be very unpredictable. No matter how hard people try to keep themselves safe and take appropriate action to avoid accidents and injuries, life is always able to surprise with unexpected obstacles and unforeseen situations. This is one of the main reasons why millions of people suffer injuries every year and have to go to the hospital for urgent treatment and recovery.
When injuries and accidents occur, the consequences can be catastrophic for those involved. Victims can have their lives turned completely upside down, suffering not only the physical pain and mental anguish of their injuries, but also the many subsequent life changes, costs, and effects that come after these kinds of accidents.
This is why, whenever an accident happens, it’s important to react appropriately and get the legal assistance you need to resolve the situation in the best possible way. Personal injury lawyers are standing by to help injury and accident victims gain compensation for their injuries and find some sort of justice after being hurt through no fault of their own.
A lot of people have questions about these kinds of cases, such as how do personal injury lawsuits work and what are the average settlement amounts for a personal injury case? This guide will provide answers to some of the many questions you may have.
What Are Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Personal injury lawsuits are lawsuits that occur after a victim or multiple victims suffer some sort of injury due to the action or inaction of a third party. Examples might include someone who gets injured in an auto accident because of another driver’s recklessness or someone who gets hurt at work because they hadn’t been properly trained in the use of new equipment.
How Do Personal Injury Lawsuits Work?
In many cases, someone who has suffered a personal injury due to the negligence or recklessness of another person or party will have the right to file a lawsuit against them. This process involves filing the suit in a relevant court with jurisdiction over the accident or incident in question. However, filing a suit is a long process, with many steps that have to be followed in order to give the plaintiff the best chance of success. The exact process for each suit can vary, but they tend to follow these steps:
- An Investigation – The first step is usually an investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the case. In order to make arguments and get satisfactory results for their clients, lawyers need as much evidence as they possibly can get their hands on. So they’ll need to carry out a thorough investigation of the incident in order to obtain this vital proof, looking at how the accident happened, what injuries occurred, how those injuries occurred, the effects of the injuries, and so on. Investigation can include visiting scenes, speaking to witnesses, looking through files, and more.
- Analysis and Strategy Planning – Once the investigation phase has been carried out, a personal injury lawyer will be able to move on to the next step of proceedings: developing a strategy to support their client and win the case. They’ll need to analyze all of the available data and laws surrounding the case in order to evaluate who owes compensation to their client, how much compensation is owed, and how this may be paid. During this phase, a lawyer will use their own experience and expertise to advise their client on the best course of action.
- Filing the Suit – The next step is to actually file the suit. Documents will need to be prepared and presented to the relevant court, and it’s typical for an official “complaint” to be filed, which introduces the parties involved and summarizes the basic facts of the case.
- Discovery – After a lawsuit has been filed, the discovery phase will begin. This is when both sides of the case can request information from one another, as well as seeking out additional info from witnesses and other parties in order to learn as much as possible and gather evidence on the case. This can include witness interviews, document examinations, and so on.
- Motions – During the discovery phase, parties on either side can file motions to clarify, narrow, or bring the case to a close. A good use of motions is often a vital part of leading a successful case.
- Negotiation – It’s highly likely that a personal injury case will end its journey in this phase. This is when the parties involved carry out negotiations regarding a settlement in order to end the case before it goes to court. In many cases, the at-fault party will be advised to settle before the court in order to avoid additional legal costs, time, and possibly higher payouts as a result of the court’s decision.
- Trial – If a settlement cannot be reached during the negotiation face, the case will proceed to court and be held as a trial, with lawyers arguing their points in front of a judge and jury.
How Much Compensation Can a Victim Get for Personal Injuries?
In terms of the amount you can expect to get from a personal injury case, the truth of the matter is that it really depends on the specifics of the case in question. Some cases result in huge amounts of compensation if a victim has suffered very severely, life-changing damages and effects, while less serious cases may have smaller settlement amounts. Statistics suggest that the average range of payouts in these cases is between $3,000 and $75,000.
How Long Do Injury Lawsuits Take?
Again, it really depends on the case in question. Some cases can drag on for several years, while others can be resolved in a matter of months if the case is relatively clear-cut and the evidence is clear to see.
Getting injured or being involved in an accident can be terrible events for those involved, but with the help of a trusted personal injury attorney, you can come out of this difficult experience with the most positive possible outcome.