What Are the Stages of a Personal Injury Case?
If you have suffered injuries as the result of an accident or due to the reckless or negligent behavior of another, you may be entitled to compensation. Depending on the circumstances, your best course of action for getting the maximum amount you need to recover may be to file a personal injury lawsuit. Most people are unfamiliar with the procedures and processes involved in a personal injury case, and the following provides information to be aware of if you or someone you care about is considering filing a claim.
Steps Involved in A Personal Injury Claim
Your first step in the aftermath of an accident should be to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. This consultation is generally free, and provides a way for us to gather some details and review the merit of your case. Most people are not aware that what they say and do after an injury can be used to dispute their claim. We can advise you on the proper course of conduct to make sure your legal rights are protected.
Once your attorney has reviewed your case and agreed to represent you in the matter, your personal injury claim will generally go through the following steps:
Making A Demand
A demand letter will be sent to the at fault party and their representative, laying out the facts of the case and requesting compensation for the injuries you suffered and the costs you incurred.
Filing A Lawsuit
In the event a settlement cannot be reached based on your demands, a lawsuit can be filed with the appropriate court. Under the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS 12.110), you have up to two years after the injury occurred in which to file a claim.
Discovery is the process of uncovering evidence in your case, such as police reports, witness statements, and medical records. Evidence is required to be shared with the opposing party.
The Oregon Bar Association advises that, while mediation is not always required in civil matters, it can be a way to resolve your case without going to trial. The parties meet with an impartial third party to discuss the case in the hopes of coming to an agreement.
Negotiations general involve the types and amounts of compensation you are entitled to receive. In most cases, you will be seeking damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, in addition to compensation for any lasting disabilities.
In the event a settlement cannot be negotiated, your case will then proceed to a trial, where a judge or jury will decide on the matter based upon the evidence presented.
Reach Out to Our Office Today for Help
If you have suffered injuries and are considering filing a claim, contact our experienced Portland personal injury attorney today. At the Johnston Law Firm, we have the legal knowledge and expertise to guide you through the process and assist you in getting the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to.
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