Individuals harmed by another person or a business sometimes have access to insurance coverage that can reimburse them for their losses. Other times, their injuries will be serious enough to require more support than that.
People can hire attorneys and pursue personal injury lawsuits in response to someone else breaking the law or engaging in negligent behavior that causes an injury. Some people dislike the idea of taking someone else to court and might end up losing the right to take action because they delay too long. People have to pursue a personal injury lawsuit within two years of their injury or run the risk of losing the right to do so in Connecticut.
Those who understand what the process involves may feel more comfortable taking timely action to seek the financial support that they require (and deserve) after a serious injury.
What does a personal injury lawsuit involve?
Once someone retains a lawyer, their attorney will begin researching the situation. They need to establish if the situation meets statutory requirements and whether there is enough evidence to file a lawsuit in civil court. Unlike in a criminal case where prosecutors must prove behind a reasonable doubt that someone broke the law, there only needs to be a preponderance of evidence supporting the plaintiff’s case in a civil lawsuit.
After an initial review of the available evidence, a lawyer can determine whether or not someone has a viable claim. If the case is strong enough to warrant legal action, filing the necessary paperwork to initiate litigation will give someone access to more evidence. The lawyer will have to send notice to the other party and can request certain evidence from them.
The right of discovery can allow someone to peruse another person’s Social Media history or even certain financial records. The discovery process in a personal injury lawsuit can strengthen someone’s case. It can take months to go over certain records, which can impact the timeline for the lawsuit.
There are usually multiple months between when someone initially files their paperwork and when they have a hearing in court. The exact waiting period for a hearing varies from case to case. Often, while waiting for a hearing in front of a judge, there may be meetings between the lawyers representing the plaintiff and the defendant to negotiate a settlement.
Many cases might settle within three to six months of someone filing initial paperwork with the courts. However, if the matter goes to trial, someone can expect a personal injury lawsuit to take a year or more to resolve. Understanding the basics of the personal injury litigation process may help empower those harmed by the actions of others to seek legal guidance and take legal action accordingly.