At the offices of Day Shell & Liljenquist, LC, our team of attorneys is here to help you with all varieties of personal injury case. We’ve helped numerous clients through complex cases in our history, helping them get the compensation they deserve based on all the available facts and evidence.

Particularly for clients who have never been through it before, the process of a personal injury case may seem daunting or intimidating. But it’s actually fairly simple, especially if you have an experienced attorney at your side walking you through it. Here are the general stages that go into a personal injury case.

Pretrial/Pre-Litigation

This stage, often the most important one in a personal injury case, is the period where attorneys on both sides get a basic idea of the facts of the case. Basic conferences, motions and other meetings will be held before a trial judge or similar official – any party in the case can request such a conference, or it can be ordered by the court in some cases.

There are a few potential reasons for a pretrial conference. It may be to expedite the disposition in the case, or it could be to help the court establish managerial control. Finally, perhaps most commonly, it may be held to facilitate the settlement of the case before it reaches trial.

Negotiations

During negotiations, which might be lumped into the pretrial section by some, an attempt is made by attorneys on both sides to negotiate an agreement between their clients. This is often successful, and leads to a settlement that ends the case (more on this below). If not, however, a trial will be necessary to determine the verdict.

Litigation or Trial

As we noted, a trial only takes place if a settlement is unable to be reached beforehand. If this is the case, attorneys on both sides will present their arguments – usually only to a judge, but sometimes to a jury depending on your local laws. Witnesses can be called or subpoenaed, and are open to cross-examination from the opposing attorney.

Settlement or Verdict

In cases where negotiations are successful, the litigation stage is skipped and we move directly to finalizing the settlement agreed upon. In addition, parties are allowed to settle even during litigation – as long as a verdict has not been delivered by a judge or jury, settlement is still on the table.

In cases that went to trial, the judge or jury will present a verdict once all the arguments have been made by both attorneys. This will come after closing arguments are made.

Appeal or Post-Judgement Motions

In cases that go to trial, attorneys may look to appeal a negative judgement. They also have the option to motion for a new trial in some cases – your attorney will inform you if this is the case in your situation.

For more on the basic stages of a personal injury case, or to learn about our services in workman’s comp law, estate planning or family law, speak to the staff at the offices of Day Shell & Liljenquist, LC today.