When somebody suffers an injury because of the intentional, reckless or negligence action of another person, this can give rise to a personal injury case. There are many different types of personal injury cases such as:
- Traffic Accidents
- Slip and Fall
- Medical Malpractice
- Product Liability
- Dog Bites
- Civil Rights
If you have a personal injury case that’s being handled by an attorney, it’s a good idea to know the five stages civil litigation that applies to personal injury cases. If you have a Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, Bronx or Brooklyn personal injury attorney, they will also know the specific rules that apply to these New York City jurisdictions. Smaller cases with less serious injuries are usually settled in earliest stages, with bigger cases with catastrophic injuries more likely to go to trial. Overall, 99% of all personal injury cases are settled before trial.
- Treatment and Investigation
During this stage the client is getting treatment for their injuries, and the attorney is collecting and assessing the reports from the doctors. There is also an investigation into the facts surrounding the case, which may include tracking down videos and/or interviewing witnesses. An assessment is made about any experts that may need to be hired, such as accident reconstructionist or medical specialist.
- Demand-Settlement Negotiations Stage
Depending on the type of case, this stage may occur before of after a lawsuit has been filed with the courts. The investigation has been completed and the client has either stopped treatment or it has become clear how well the injuries have resolved and what the future prospects will be. The evidence is sent to the insurance company and there are negotiations to settle the case. Sometimes there is not enough insurance coverage to the severity of the injuries, so the insurance company will “tender” their policy and the case must be settled, as there is no reason to seek a judgment that will not be collectable.
- Litigation & Discovery
If it is not possible to settle the case it will proceed legally through “discovery.” This means that the evidence will be collected and exchanged by both sides. For example, a Brooklyn car accident attorney will send the police report for the accident, photos, medical reports and other documents to the opposing attorneys. There will be proceedings such as a preliminary conference and compliance coverage for that the Judge can monitor the exchange of discovery. There will also be depositions and physical examinations of the plaintiff. If your Personal Injury Attorney in NYC cannot get the opposition to settle during this stage, the Judge will set the case down for a trial.
- Trial and Judgment
Every Brooklyn personal injury attorney knows that juries in Brooklyn (and in New York City) tend to be sympathetic to injured people, so they request a trial by jury, as opposed to a trial with just a judge. At this time the procedural rules become very strict and all the evidence must be presented properly to the jury. After the evidence is presented the jury will render its decision.
- Appeal and Post-Judgment Motions
If the plaintiff believes the Judge did something wrong during the case and is not happy with the results, it is possible to appeal. Often defendants will appeal a money award as too high. Newspapers love to publish that a jury award millions of dollars on a case, but many times those awards are reduced on appeal.
You can contact Wittenstein & Wittenstein to help you through this process. We are the most experienced Personal Injury Lawyer NYC. We also have decades of experience as a Queens, Bronx and Brooklyn Car Accident Attorney. If you think that your case is not being handled correctly by your current attorney, please feel free to call us at 718-261-8114 for a free consultation.