Personal injury cases can often be a complex and lengthy process that require a great deal of time, effort, and resources. The timeline of a personal injury case in Missouri can vary depending on the specifics of the case, but there are some general steps that are followed in most cases. In this blog post, we take a closer look at the usual course for a personal injury case in Missouri.
Step 1: Seek Medical Attention – The first step in any personal injury case is to seek medical attention for your injuries. This step is crucial for your health and well-being, and it is also important for your case. Medical records can be used as evidence to support your claim, so it is important to document your injuries and treatment from the start. Insurance companies will look for any lapses in treatment in evaluating your claim.
Step 2: Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer – If you decide to pursue a personal injury claim, the next step is to hire a personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer will help you navigate the legal system, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for your rights in court if necessary.
Step 3: Investigation and Evidence Gathering – Your lawyer will begin investigating your case by gathering evidence. This may include gathering medical records, witness statements, and police reports. Your lawyer may also hire expert witnesses to help build your case, establish liability, and quantify your damages.
Step 4: Filing a Claim or Lawsuit – Once your lawyer has gathered enough evidence, they will file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf. This begins the formal legal process of your case. Your lawyer may be able to negotiate the settlement of your claim prior to filing a lawsuit.
Step 5: Discovery – Discovery is the process in which both sides exchange evidence and information about the case. This includes written questions, requests for documents, and depositions of parties and witnesses. This process can take several months to complete.
Step 6: Mediation and Settlement Negotiation – In many personal injury cases, mediation and settlement negotiations are attempted prior going to trial. A settlement may be reached at any point after a lawsuit is filed and prior to trial. If a settlement is reached, the case can be resolved without going to trial.
Step 7: Trial – If a settlement is not reached, the case will ultimately go to trial. At trial, both sides present their case to a judge and/or jury. A trial can take several days or even weeks to complete.
Step 8: Verdict and Appeals – After the trial, the judge and/or jury will reach a verdict. If you win your case, you will receive compensation for your injuries. If you lose your case, you may have the option to appeal the decision.
Step 9: Collection – If you win your case and are awarded compensation, the final step is to collect the money owed to you. Depending on whether the defendant has insurance to cover the judgment entered against him/her, this can sometimes be a lengthy process. However, your lawyer will work to ensure that you receive the compensation you are owed.
In conclusion, the steps involved with a personal injury case in Missouri can vary depending on the specifics of the case. However, by working with an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome. Remember to prioritize your health and well-being throughout the process, and don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you need it.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, please reach out to The A.W. Smith Law Firm for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.