As the personal injury lawsuit process gets underway, both sides in the case will do their own discovery to gather evidence to later be used in trial.
Continuing from The Personal Injury Lawsuit Process: What You Need to Know (Part 1), here, we pick up the discussion with the pre-trial phase of the personal injury lawsuit process. Specifically, once the lawsuit has officially been placed on the court document, the following will then occur:
- The discovery process takes place – Once your case is officially on the court’s docket, both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s side with initiate the discovery process. This is the official process of gathering evidence that will later be presented at trial. Depending on the complexity of the case, the discovery process can take weeks or even months, and it generally involves deposing witnesses (for both sides), requesting official medical documentation and other evidence-gathering procedures.
- Then, there may be pre-trial settlement talks – After the discovery has been completed, the judge overseeing the case may order both sides to make one last effort to try to come to a settlement by ordering them to sit down for pre-trial settlement talks. This does not always happen, but when it does, the plaintiff’s attorneys must meet with the defendant to try to see if it’s possible to work out a settlement and avoid trial. This is usually ordered by the judge when the courts are overburdened with cases.
- The pre-trial phase begins with the jury selection – When a settlement can still not be reached (or if the judge does not order pre-trial settlement talks), then the pre-trial phase will begin with both sides choosing the jury. If you have ever received a jury summons, then you know that this phase of the personal injury lawsuit process involves both attorneys asking each potential juror member some questions; based on the individual’s answers, the attorneys decide whether that person should be chosen to be on the jury or should be dismissed.
- The trial gets underway with the opening statements – Once the jury has been selected, the trial will begin on the selected date, and the very first proceeding in the trial process involves both sides giving an opening statement. Opening statements provide somewhat of an overview of what each side intends to argue during the trial. At this time, each side may also foreshadow some of the specific evidence they plan on disclosing to the jury later in the case.
Look for our upcoming Part 3 of this blog to see how the personal injury trial process typically comes to a close.
Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers
If you have sustained any type of personal injury and suspect that the negligence or recklessness of another party may have contributed to your injuries, you need an attorney who understands personal injury law and knows what steps to take on your behalf.
At Binder and Associates, our Encino personal injury attorneys have been committed to aggressively defending victims’ rights and helping people like you in the Los Angeles, California area since 1973. Our thorough knowledge of the law and our fierce litigating skills allow us to consistently help accident victims secure the maximum possible compensation for their injuries and losses.
To arrange for your free initial consultation during which you will receive trusted advice from an experienced legal professional, please contact our office by calling us at