Timeline of a New Haven Personal Injury Case
After an unexpected accident, you may want to pursue a personal injury lawsuit and recover financial compensation. These claims follow a series of careful steps, beginning with hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent your case.
If you plan on filing a personal injury lawsuit in New Haven, it is important to know what to expect during the process. Depending on the complexity of your accident, a personal injury case can take between one to two years or longer to resolve.
The Pre-Filing Process
Many steps need to be completed before you file your lawsuit in civil court. First, you will meet with a lawyer who will ask questions about your accident. He or she will also conduct a preliminary investigation into the incident and gather relevant evidence, like photographs, witness statements, police reports, and surveillance footage.
Your attorney will also want to wait until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) before filing your claim. MMI is the point where your injuries have healed to the furthest possible extent. You won’t have a clear picture of your injuries, damages, and long-term medical needs until this point, so it is important to wait.
Filing Your Case in Civil Court
Before filing your case in court, your attorney may send a letter to the at-fault party and ask him or her to attend pre-trial negotiations. If these discussions are successful, you will reach a settlement and your case will conclude. If you do not negotiate or cannot reach an agreement, your attorney will file your lawsuit in court.
Investigation and Discovery
Once your case is filed, your attorney will continue to investigate your case and gather evidence to prove the at-fault party’s negligence. Your case will also move to discovery, where you and the at-fault party will exchange evidence and take depositions of witnesses and other relevant parties. You may also be deposed by the at-fault party’s lawyer. Discovery can take six months to one year to complete.
If your attorney believes that it is in your best interest, you may engage in negotiations with the at-fault party at any time from when your lawsuit is filed to when you go to trial. During these discussions, you and the at-fault party will attempt to come to a settlement agreement. If these negotiations are successful, the attorneys will file a motion and your case will conclude at this stage.
The Personal Injury Trial
If you do not settle before your trial begins, your lawsuit will head to the courtroom. During the trial, the judge and/or a jury will listen to arguments and view evidence from both parties involved in the case. Using this information, the court will determine whether you are eligible for compensation and how much you should receive.
If the case resolves in your favor, you should expect to receive your settlement check within a few weeks. If you do not receive compensation, you have the right to appeal the decision and request another hearing. Your attorney will guide you through each stage of the process.
Contact a New Haven Personal Injury Attorney
Personal injury lawsuits are incredibly complex. To increase your chances of a successful recovery, you need an attorney on your side who can protect your best interests. As soon as possible following your accident, contact a New Haven personal injury lawyer to discuss your case and plan your next steps.