After you sustain an injury as a result of the negligence or actions of others:
File a claim for personal injury.
Simply, this means putting the at-fault party on notice. If you hire an attorney, your attorney will send a letter of representation to the at-fault party, putting them on notice of your claim and requesting their insurance information.
Pre-suit Demand.
Once you have completed your medical care and treatment, you present a demand to the at-fault party outlining liability, your injuries, the medical care and treatment you have received to date, the amount of your medical bills, the medical care you will require in the future, and lost wages.
File a Lawsuit.
If you are unable to settle your claim pre-suit, then you file a Complaint suing the at-fault party. The lawsuit is typically filed in the county where the accident or incident happened or where the at-fault party resides.
After a lawsuit is filed, the parties participate in discovery. During the discovery phase, you will be asked to complete a written discovery, sit for a deposition, and present for a compulsory medical examination.
Negotiation and Mediation.
Once the discovery process is complete, the parties will try to reach a settlement. If the insurance company agrees that they are responsible for the injured party’s damages, then they will participate in a back-and-forth negotiation. This is where they usually try to get the settlement down to as little money as possible. This is also why having an experienced injury attorney is so important. If the two parties cannot reach an agreement, then they can do what is called mediation. During mediation, an unbiased third, party, acts as a mediator to see if the parties are able to compromise and reach a settlement without the necessity of a trial. The costs of the mediator are typically shared equally by the parties.
If the parties are unable to reach a settlement at mediation or prior to trial, the final step is a trial. A jury is selected to hear the evidence in your case and then ultimately decide the issues in your case. However, you can still settle your case during and even after the trial.