Filing a car accident lawsuit and claiming for your injuries may mean a lengthy procedure. With the right evidence as proof and a personal injury attorney to help you, the task gets more manageable. However, there are different stages of the lawsuit. To make yourself familiar with how your lawsuit will get settled here are the following stages.

Stage 1: Filing a lawsuit

Once you get your injury attorney, h/she will file a lawsuit for you (as the plaintiff). A complaint petition will be filed with a local court. This complaint will include allegations against the driver of the car (who is the defendant) and an estimate of your compensation.

Stage 2: Preliminary Motions

In Preliminary motion, the first hearing happens before the judge. Details of the lawsuit are discussed. A “trial before a trial” can also happen. Here the defendant and his lawyer may also come with their motion. The motions can be anyone of the following:

–    Motion to dismiss where the judge may dismiss the Case and no further proceedings to take further. Reasons for this is usually on the grounds of time.

–    Motion for change of venue i.e., that the Case should be changed to a different court or jurisdiction

–    Motion for change of judge

–    Motion for removal. This motion moves the Case from the state court to the federal court.

Stage 3: Pre- Trial Litigation

If there is no motion to dismiss. The first hearing and trial begin.

The judge might order for a Mediation at this stage. Mediation is when the two parties in the lawsuit meet through a neutral third-party mediator. The mediator will try to bring about negotiations between the parties.

Stage 4: Discovery

If stage 3 fails, the lawsuit moves for a Discovery. Here the lawyers of both the parties examine the fact of the Case to prove the other wrong. Here they interview witnesses, take a deposition, and examine other documents.

Stage 5: Summary Judgement

At the Discovery stage, one of the parties will gather enough evidence to prove their stand. A motion for Summary Judgement is requested then. Here the judge decides the Case with the evidence produced for him/her. There may be no need to hear from witnesses.

A settlement can also be reached at the time from the car insurance company.

Stage 7: Going to Trial

There are two types of trial- bench trial and a jury trial.

–    Bench trial: Only one judge hears the evidence and decides the Case

–    Jury trial: A jury will decide on the facts of the Case and make the decision and even arriving at an estimated compensation amount.

Car accident mostly does not make it until the trial. By Stage 5, the Case gets resolved, and also with a settlement. Sometimes a Settlement can even be made at the trial stage.

 A Trial is the end of the stage. If any of the lawyer files to appeal the decision, the Case may continue for longer months. The complexity of the Case determines how long it will go after the appeal.