Through What Stages Does A Personal Injury Lawsuit Progress?

Pursuit of a personal injury lawsuit forces the involved parties to take part in a lengthy process, one that could end in a courtroom setting.

Initial stage: plaintiff files a complaint

The same plaintiff has one month in which to locate the defendant and serve the complaint on the defendant. At the same time, the plaintiff informs the defendant about the court date. The personal injury lawyer in Mundelein knows that the plaintiff must await the defendant’s response to the served complaint.

Stage where defendant acts, while plaintiff waits

The defendant must get an attorney. If dispute concerns the defendant’s insurance company, the insurer must provide the defendant with an attorney. The defendant must notify the insurance company.

Discovery stage

The 2 sides exchange evidence and witness information and the depositions are scheduled. This stage could end with resolution of the dispute; either side might learn a new fact, one that could make that side’s argument stronger or weaker. If there is no resolution of the dispute, then a trial is scheduled.

Trial stage

Lawyers for both sides present their opening arguments. Then each attorney gets to question the different witnesses. During that same time, each attorney has exhibits for the jury. Following the testimonies from the witnesses, each attorney presents a closing argument. Then the judge explains to the jury the nature of the allegations that have been made against the defendant. The jury must rule on each allegation.

After receiving the judge’s instructions, the jurors meet and deliberate. That might take only a few hours, although it could go on for several days. Eventually, the jury gives that body’s ruling to the judge, and the judge reads the ruling. Yet the case might not be over. Either side could request a chance to seek an appeal.

One thing that remains the same in every stage

Throughout all of the stages, both of the disputing parties are granted the opportunity to end their dispute. In other words, the 2 sides could reach some sort of agreement at any time during the lawsuit process.

No one insists that all of the stages have to be completed. In fact, a judge usually welcomes the need to suspend court proceedings, in order to allow for the establishment of an agreement. That suspension could even come while the judge was meeting with one or more lawyers in his or her office.

Admittedly, the agreement reached by the disputing parties would be different for every case, even one that ended early. The legal system was not designed to facilitate the making of a certain type of agreement. It was designed to facilitate the resolution of a legal problem, such as a dispute that had been caused by the effects of a personal injury.

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