A person who suffers an injury due to the actions of another may have a right to recover damages. Consulting with an attorney regarding the nature of the accident, the injuries (to person or property), and any other relevant elements of the situation may allow you to better understand your legal rights and the options available for possible compensation.
If you are pursuing compensation through the courts in a Medford injury case, there are a number of necessary pre-trial steps that are time-sensitive and could require a great deal of care to complete. An experienced personal injury attorney could guide you through these Medford injury pre-trial steps and help reduce the stress a trial may create.
Filing a Complaint
After determining that a lawsuit is the best possible route for recovery, a complaint must be filed with the relevant court. This document provides an overview of the factual and legal basis for the claim against the defendant. The most common legal basis for recovery in personal injury cases is negligence.
Once the plaintiff in a personal injury cases files their complaint, the defendant will be served notice, meaning they will be made aware of the lawsuit against them. The defendant then has two options: file an answer with the court affirming, denying, or claiming insufficient information for each claim in the complaint, or file a motion to dismiss.
If a motion to dismiss is filed and denied, the defendant will be forced to file an answer to the complaint. Additionally, the defendant may make counterclaims in their answer. In this scenario, the plaintiff must file an answer to address the counterclaims.
Once the plaintiff lodges their complaint with the correct court, the court notifies the defendant, and both parties file their respective answers, the process of discovery begins.
Discovery can be one of the most time-consuming Medford injury case pre-trial steps. During this period, each party obtains and exchanges information relating to the case. This can include accident reports, witness statements, medical records, and other such documentation.
Generally, discovery in Medford personal injury cases should take no more than 300 days. Cases founded on other legal theories such as products liability or medical malpractice have longer periods of discovery. If needed, the court may also allow the parties to extend discovery beyond these statutory limits under certain circumstances.
Interrogatories and Depositions
Discovery will also likely entail answering interrogatories. These are written questions relating to the accident, the injuries sustained, the extent of damages, and other such information. A deposition is also likely to occur, during which both parties must answer questions under oath.
Answering interrogatories and participating in depositions is mandatory and usually best done under the counsel of a competent personal injury attorney to minimize inadvertent errors during the process.
Non-Binding Pre-Trial Arbitration
In Medford, the last pre-trial step is non-binding arbitration. This step, scheduled by the court, is a form of alternative dispute resolution wherein all parties will argue their case with a neutral arbitrator who will make a non-binding decision regarding a settlement for the case. Both parties then have 30 days to accept or decline the decision. If declined, the court will schedule a trial date.
Lawyer’s Role in Medford Injury Case Pre-Trial Steps
In many respects, plaintiffs win or lose lawsuits in pre-trial preparation. Effectively drafting your complaint, engaging in thoughtful and thorough discovery, and expertly guiding you through the twists and turns of every pre-trial step is among the many responsibilities of our personal injury attorneys.
If you suffered a personal injury, a lawyer could assist you in navigating your Medford injury case pre-trial steps. Call today to get started on your case.