Every day people are injured from motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, industrial accidents, medical errors, defective products, dog bites, and other incidents. Many of these injuries happen because of someone else’s negligence. Whether that party is a business or an individual, victims in these situations have the right to be compensated for economic and non-economic damages they suffered. A personal injury lawsuit is a way for accident victims to seek damages that include everything from medical bills, physical rehabilitation or therapy expenses, and out-of-pocket medical costs like medications and mobility aids to lost wages, pain and suffering.
If you have never been involved in a personal injury lawsuit, you may not know what to expect. At the Joseph Law Group, we believe our clients should understand the realities of filing an injury lawsuit to be fully prepared for the process that lies ahead of them. Personal injury lawsuits can be stressful but with proper assistance you may be able to collect fair compensation for your losses and be awarded damages for the way your life has been altered without being unduly burdened.
What to expect during a personal injury lawsuit
1. You, as the plaintiff, have the burden of proof.
To win any personal injury case, the burden of proof falls entirely on the plaintiff. Personal injury cases fall within civil law, where the preponderance of evidence and argument must persuade a judge or jury that the defendant’s negligence led to your injury, making them liable for the associated damages. Unlike criminal cases where a defendant must be proven guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt,” a defendant in a personal injury case need only be proven “more likely than not” liable for the claimed cause of injury and resulting damages. This standard of proof essentially equates to proving your allegations to a 51% degree of truth.
2. Your medical history will be under scrutiny.
In most personal injury cases, the victim will face questions from the opposing party’s legal team and insurance company about their medical history. Filing an injury lawsuit usually gives the defense the right to request your medical records, including any pre-existing conditions, for use in court. Often this gives rise to a question about a patient’s right to privacy vis-à-vis the patient physician confidentiality versus the defense’s right to inquire about a plaintiff’s medical history.An experienced personal injury lawyer often will present arguments to a judge regarding discoverability or admissibility of prior medical records and conditions. In many cases, a personal injury attorney can make your case stronger by demonstrating that an accident aggravated, or made worse, any prior medical condition.
3. Most cases do not go to a jury trial.
There are different ways to win a personal injury case, and the majority of cases are settled out of court. While every plaintiff has the right to a trial, it is often advantageous to resolve matters outside of court to save time, money, and stress. Settlement conferences, arbitrations, and mediations can all result in an agreement where the defendant will pay the plaintiff for their injuries based on the strength of evidence, the extent of harm, and the related costs. With these solutions, parties may engage in exhaustive settlement negotiations in order to exchange several offers and settlement demands before reaching an amount that is agreeable to all parties.
4. Injury lawsuits are time-consuming.
Personal injury cases are complex, and therefore a judge will likely provide the parties 12 to 18 months to conduct the discovery process so to fully prepare and gather evidence. To compound matters, insurance companies will often drag out the process in hopes that victims will settle for less than what their case is worth. The attorneys at the Joseph Law Group are dedicated to resolving your case as quickly and efficiently as possible with the ultimate goal of achieving the best possible outcome for you.
If you or a family member has suffered an injury and you believe someone else may be at fault, don’t hesitate to contact the caring and compassionate legal team at Joseph Law Group. We can thoroughly investigate your claim, help determine its value, and assume all costs related to the injury lawsuit. We never charge a fee unless we are successful at helping you recover damages.
Schedule your free consultation with the Joseph Law Group by calling 866-522-1402. We have offices in Cleveland and Youngstown but also schedule in house or virtual appointments.
©2021 Joseph Law Group