When you or a family member are injured due to the negligence of another person or organization, you have the right to file a personal injury claim in an effort to seek compensation for medical bills, future care, and pain and suffering, among other things.
Personal injury is a broad area of tort law that covers any harm done to a person including both physical and emotional injury. Personal injury cases are very diverse, ranging from car accidents to slip and fall accidents and product liability. The degree of injury, the nature of each case, and the number of defendants involved are all variables that can add to the complexity of a case. To help you understand the step-by-step progression of a case, our personal injury attorneys at the Fitzgerald Law Firm have developed a guide to help you proceed with your case.
- Seek Medical Treatment
First and foremost, if you are injured it is important to seek medical attention and treatment right away. In addition to providing you with the care you need to heal, medical treatment helps to validate your claim through the documentation provided by doctors, nurses, therapists, and other providers.
- Find a Personal Injury Lawyer
Finding a personal injury attorney who you trust as well as a match for your case can take some work. Always research attorneys to ensure they have ample experience in the practice area that your case requires, resources available to conduct thorough investigations, and the ability to take your case to trial if need be. The Fitzgerald Law Firm has built a reputation of trust and excellence in Wyoming as well as across the country for their dedication to their clients and track record of success in personal injury cases.
Your lawyer will want to learn everything about you, your case, injuries, medical records, and medical treatments. It is important to be upfront and honest with the team representing you so they have an accurate and realistic understanding of your case and can provide you with realistic solutions. Having a record of medical treatment, bills, and other information that demonstrate your injuries and course of recovery will be helpful for your attorney as they fully investigate your situation and potential damages.
- Demands and Negotiation
It is not uncommon for a personal injury claim to reach a settlement before ever going to trial. Depending on the case, it can be in your best interest for your attorney to contact the defendant to lay out demands for settlement. Before attempting to settle, your attorney should wait until you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), and progressed through nearly all of your medical treatments. Waiting for MMI will allow your attorney to better determine the complete damages of your case. If the plaintiff and the defendant are unable to reach a settlement agreement, the case will move forward with litigation. To view some of our top settlements, click here.
- Personal Injury Lawsuit is Filed
Litigation begins when your attorney files a lawsuit with the courts on your behalf. In Wyoming, a personal injury claim must be filed within four years of the time that the injury was sustained. The state statute of limitations does not require that your case be completed within four years, but according to Wyoming law, you must file your case within four years from the time the injury occurred. There are specific exceptions to this law as well including when cases involve a minor, medical malpractice, or wrongful death. It is important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with these nuances of the law and can ensure your case is filed appropriately.
- The Discovery Phase
During the discovery phase of your lawsuit, both your attorney and the defendant’s attorney will investigate the other’s claims and defenses. Sides will communicate with each other, ask questions, share documents, and take depositions from both parties as well as witnesses.
- Mediation and Negotiation
After reviewing all elements of the case, lawyers may begin renegotiating a settlement. If they are unable to find a resolution, a mediator – a neutral third party – may be asked to assist in the settlement negotiation process.
A trial is the last step to finding a resolution for a case if mediation does not work. Trials are often time-consuming and expensive for both parties and typically involve large, complex, high-profile cases. Trials will culminate in a decision reached by a judge or a jury. At the Fitzgerald Law Firm, it is our goal to do what is right for each case. If taking a case to trial is what is required to obtain optimal results, we have the necessary resources and expertise to not back down from a challenge.
If either party disagrees with the judgment made at trial, they may make an appeal to a higher court to review the case and potentially reverse the outcome. An appellate court can either uphold the original judgment or, in the event it is decided there was not enough evidence to make a decision, return the case to its initial stages. The Fitzgerald Law Firm holds the record for the largest verdicts ever upheld on appeal in Wyoming for injuries and wrongful death.
Contact the Fitzgerald Law Firm
Bringing a personal injury case against another person or organization is complicated and lengthy. In order to ensure the best possible outcome, connect with an experienced personal injury attorney who has your best interest at heart.
At the Fitzgerald Law Firm, we understand the difficulties of unexpected injury, medical bills, and abrupt lifestyle changes that you face when you are harmed by someone else’s negligence. For over 40 years, our personal injury law firm has delivered extraordinary results for clients all over the United States with our cornerstone belief in finding truth and justice.
If you believe you have been seriously injured due to someone’s negligence, it is important to seek legal representation as quickly as possible. Contact The Fitzgerald Law Firm today to discuss the details of your case, and receive the legal support you need to begin your path toward recovery.