Having an experienced attorney will ensure the person is justly compensated and will not be taken advantage of by insurance companies or other lawyers. Filing a claim requires a lot of paperwork production and sometimes answering a lot of questions about the incident that caused the injury as well as providing personal information. Here are a few things one might expect to encounter when filing a personal injury lawsuit.
One of the first steps involved requires explaining to the attorney exactly what happened and why the person feels they have been harmed. The incident must be described in detail. The person wishing to file the suit, called the plaintiff, should be honest about all of the facts of the case and not hide any information from their lawyer. A thorough investigation will likely be done by the other side and the more open and honest the plaintiff is, the better off they are in the long run. There may be things that can hurt the case, but hiding or misrepresenting information is worse. Paperwork called answers to interrogatories may be sent to the plaintiff’s attorney. These must be answered and signed as true and correct.
The lawyer will need copies of all reports and paperwork generated from the incident. When the injury involves a slip and fall at a store or restaurant, a report is usually filled out at the establishment detailing what happened. Car accidents often generate police reports, eyewitness statements, traffic tickets and/or court summonses, insurance company claim statements and auto repair bills. Records of missed time and income from work need to be produced as well.
When a personal injury is involved, both sides will want to look at medical records of the person making the claim. Ambulance and hospital records, doctor’s office visits, x-rays and physical therapy appointments all require release forms to be filled out and signed to make this possible. The defense attorney will want to see all of this information, so the plaintiff’s counsel will request it and look at it first before producing it to the other side.
Disclosing Personal Information
During the lawsuit, there will be lots of questions for both parties to answer. Attorneys from opposite sides are not allowed to ask plaintiffs and defendants questions without their lawyers present. Instead, they have a formal question and answer session called a deposition. The witness is placed under oath. There is usually a court reporter present making a certified record of the proceedings. The lawyers are allowed to ask any questions they believe will lead to discoverable evidence in the case. Many questions can be of a personal nature, such as name, address, age, marital status, criminal record and work history. While this may not seem like it has anything to do with the case, the witness must answer these questions unless their attorney advises them not to answer.
While lawsuits can be a long, drawn-out process, this is usually a result of both sides making sure all of the rules and procedures are followed and their clients receive the best representation possible.
Author is a freelance writer. For more information on Chicago Personal Injury Lawyersplease visit http://www.millonpeskin.com/.