What to Expect When A Lawsuit Is Filed On Your Tampa Bay Area Injury Case
When negotiations fail to result in the settlement of your personal injury case, your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf. What does this mean? It means that your case is now in “Litigation”. This makes you the plaintiff and the person who caused your injury the defendant.
While every case is different, a general timeline for the litigation process is as follows:
- 0-2 Months – Serving the Defendant. Once the Complaint is filed and the Summons issued by the Court, your attorney will have the Defendant in your case personally served with the aforementioned documents. Normally, this step happens rather quickly; however, in a case where there are several named defendants and issues with their whereabouts, you may experience a somewhat longer timeline for this step. Once the Defendant is served, he or she will typically have 20 days to file an Answer to your Complaint.
- 2-4 Months – Written Discovery. Secondly, the parties will each serve “written discovery” to each other. During this process, your attorney and her staff will meet with you to obtain any relevant information and documents to your case that they may not already have in their possession. This information will be used to answer written questions, called interrogatories, as well as requests for production of documents served by the Defendant. The types of documents normally requested from you will include, but are not limited to, medical records, medical bills, employment records, and photographs- whether of the scene, vehicles, or your injuries.
- 4-7 Months – Depositions. Thirdly, both parties will be deposed, accompanied by their attorneys. At your deposition, the defense attorney will ask you questions in person about the accident and your medical history under oath. Rest assured, however, prior to your deposition, your attorney will meet with you to prepare you for these questions.
- 6-9 Months – Mediation. Fourth, once both sides have all the information they need to value your case, all parties, including their attorneys and adjusters, will meet at a mediator’s office to discuss the case and, hopefully, reach a resolution. Most cases resolve at mediation.
- 12+ Months – Trial. Lastly, if your case does not resolve at mediation, it proceeds to trial by jury.
At the Personal Injury Law Office of Chelsie Lamie, located in Safety Harbor, Florida, we work hard to get you justice. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident in the Tampa Bay Area, call 727-501-3464 for a free consultation. You can learn more about Attorney Chelsie M. Lamie by visiting www.chelsielamie.com.