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Personal Injury lawyerAccidents happen. That’s just a fact of life.

When an accident occurs due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, injured parties may be entitled to compensation, which they seek through filing a personal injury claim.  

While some California personal injury claims are pretty straightforward, they are often quite complicated, which is why most people hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to file a claim. A personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve and hold all responsible parties liable for their actions.

How Do Personal Injury Claims Work?

When it comes to California personal injury law, there are two types of common legal procedures:

A Personal Injury Settlement

Most personal injury claims are resolved without the parties ever needing to enter a courtroom. These resolutions are known as a settlement. A settlement is reached when all parties agree on a negotiated agreement that involves fair compensation for the victim.

The parties that are generally involved in a settlement negotiation include:

  • The injured party (plaintiff)
  • The at-fault party (defendant)
  • Insurance company representatives
  • Representing attorneys

Following a series of negotiations, the parties come to a final settlement agreement memorialized by a written document, known as a “release,” signed by all parties. This settlement will include the amount of money the defendant’s insurance carrier has agreed to pay the plaintiff in exchange for not pursuing further legal action or a personal injury lawsuit.

When parties cannot settle a personal injury case, the plaintiff has the option of filing a lawsuit.

A Personal Injury Lawsuit

In a formal personal injury lawsuit, the injured party (the “plaintiff”) files a lawsuit against the individual, business, corporation, or government entity (the “defendant”) responsible for the injuries. A personal injury lawsuit claims that the plaintiff suffered an injury or harm due to the defendant’s negligence, irresponsibility, or carelessness, regardless of intention.

A California personal injury lawsuit usually involves a series of ten steps:

  • The parties have exhausted all other avenues and have been unable to reach a settlement.
  • The plaintiff’s attorney files a lawsuit, beginning what is known as “formal litigation.”
  • The defendant files their answer after being served with the lawsuit.
  • Both parties engage in “discovery,” which is a process in which both sides obtain information from each other that is relevant to the case. This process may involve written discovery or oral discovery (also known as a “deposition”).
  • Both parties will engage in certain case-related actions using “motions,” and a judge will decide whether each motion is valid.
  • The judge will generally order a pretrial conference to narrow the issues further or engage in settlement talks before trial.
  • If a settlement cannot be reached, the parties will have their day in court to make their case to either a judge or jury.
  • Once the trial is over, the judge or jury will deliberate and decide what amount to award the plaintiff.
  • After the verdict, the losing side may bring post-trial motions or appeals to convince the judge that another remedy is sufficient.
  • Once it is all over, the winning party will be able to collect on the judgment.

samer habbasConsult with an Orange County Personal Injury Attorney

You may be entitled to compensation if you or a loved one has suffered due to an accident caused by another person or entity’s negligence or recklessness. For more information or to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Orange County personal injury attorney, call the Law Offices of Samer Habbas today at 888-848-5084.