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The Life Of A Personal Injury Case

When people get injured, their main focus is on getting better. When they require legal services, their main priorities are costs, and what their lawyers need from them. Before victims retain a lawyer, many often have no understanding of how the legal process works.

The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association recognizes this need for better understanding of the judicial system. They recently published an article about the legal process to inform injury suffers what the life of their personal injury case will look like, and how lawyers build their cases in between court dates.

Working with a personal injury firm allows you to focus on recovery as your lawyers focus on protecting your interests. Your personal injury lawyer will make sure he or she has gathered the key information relevant to your situation, adheres to legal deadlines and pursues an outcome beneficial to you.

How A Personal Injury Case Proceeds

In some cases, such as a car accident, you may be litigating against your insurance company for additional compensation. In other cases, such as a slip and fall accident, you may be fighting against a corporation or an at-fault individual for additional financial resources.

Whatever your situation may be, most personal injury cases follow a similar outline. While some exceptions exist, these are the most common procedural elements in a personal injury case:

The General Steps Of A Personal Injury Matter:

  1. Initial Consultation: determine the basic facts, identify your legal options and discuss fees 
  2. Retainer: services and payment plan determined
  3. Recovery: collection of medical records, financial records, employment details and potential witnesses. You may not need to meet with the lawyer during this time.
  4. Examination For Discovery: preparation for questioning by the defendant's lawyers. Your lawyers will also be preparing to question the other party. Any relevant information yet to be collected will be requested by each respective lawyer.
  5. Mediation: lawyers negotiate a settlement with the other party. 
  6. Pretrial: if mediation fails, a pretrial is conducted by a judge to review the case and outline the process to the parties
  7. Trial: at this point, the timing and procedure vary depending on the case and the facts involved. You may not be required for every part of the trial, depending on the advice of your lawyer. 

Each case is different, and each client may have different goals. The best way to understand how your specific case will proceed is to speak to your lawyer about the outcomes you want to see. He or she will then advise you on the best courses of action to pursue those outcomes.

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