5 Steps in a Car or Truck Accident Lawsuit Pre-Trial
Part 1 – Pre-Trial
Our American legal system is the best in the world, but it can be complicated, time-consuming, and frustrating. The more fully you familiarize yourself with the what's and why's of it, the better you’ll be able to understand and gain justice from it.
Here are the essential steps in a car or truck accident lawsuit (pre-trial) – in the order in which they occur - and what you can expect along the way:
1. Medical Recovery
The first and one of the most important steps for the car or truck wreck victim in this process is to receive the best and most comprehensive medical treatment possible. This is often a rushed or even ignored step, but it is fundamental in the short- and long-term health of a victim and success in the legal arena. First and foremost, you must restore your health. Then you can present your case and obtain financial restitution.
2. Legal Assistance
A competent lawyer, who knows the system well and can help you navigate through it, is one of your greatest allies. He/she will help you develop a case to best represent your interests and will keep you informed of the status of your case and act as your spokesperson with the court and the opposing side. Your lawyer will even help you battle in court or avoid trial and reach an outside agreement, if that’s your preference.
3. Filing a Complaint
If an initial agreement can’t be reached, your attorney will file a complaint outlining the extent of your injuries and the “relief” – monetary compensation – you are seeking. It will be served to the defendant, who is charged with responding in a set time. At every stage, you should be collecting records, filing bills, and taking detailed notes about the status of your injury.
During this all-important, fact-finding phase, each party gathers testimony and evidence from the other side and third parties and discovers the relative strength of their cases. This will most likely include depositions, where witnesses, experts, and opposing parties are questioned under oath by your and/or their attorney or attorneys. It is often the discovery phase that demands the most time.
Mediation is a form of dispute resolution that attempts to avoid further costs, time, and consequences for both sides. In mediation, both sides present their side of the case before a mediator, whose ruling is nonbinding, and which both parties can choose to accept or reject. Not all cases are best handled in a court room. They can be settled in less time and without the necessity of a jury trial.
Amy Witherite, founder and lead attorney at the Witherite Law Group, says, “To successfully win a case in court requires an exceptional amount of expertise, experience, legal skills, and diligence. If you’ve got the right people and strategy, you can get the restitution you deserve. If you don’t, it’s often a more costly and stressful battle with far less favorable results.”
In the steps above, you can see the time and work it takes a car or wreck victim to prepare and present his case, and we haven’t even entered the courtroom. In the second part of this blog, we’ll look at the trial process and beyond.
The accident attorneys of Witherite Law Group help those who have been injured in a car or truck accident. Get legal help today by calling 1-800-CarWreck® or 1-800-TruckWreck or visiting www.WitheriteLaw.com. We’re available 24/7.