What Are the Stages of a Personal Injury Claim?

December 31, 2021

Accidents occur every day in Kentucky, and they can happen anywhere. Many accident claims come from slip-and-fall accidents, while others come from workplace injuries. However, most accidental injuries and deaths are the result of car crashes. In the United States, there is approximately one car crash every ten seconds.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than three million people per year are injured in accidents. After an injury, the bills begin to pile up. The NSC reports that the average cost of personal injuries ranges between $140,000 to more than $1 million. 

If your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence or reckless conduct, you might be entitled to compensation for your damages. To receive financial compensation, you need to go through a personal injuries claim process. Following are some of the stages of a personal injury claim:

1. Initial Consultation

The first of several stages of a personal injury claim is to find a reputable personal injury lawyer and set up a consultation. Many personal injury attorneys, including those of us here at Saladino & Schaaf, offer this initial consultation for free.

During the consultation, the attorney will ask you a series of questions, and you’ll discuss the details of your situation, damages, and the extent of your injuries. You should also take this opportunity to ask questions about the lawyer’s experience, as you’ll want to find a lawyer who is a good fit for your case.

Following the consultation, the lawyer may advise you on the best course of action and describe the types of compensation that may be available to you based on your situation.

2. Filing Court Documents

If you and the attorney decide to move forward and enter into a representation agreement, your attorney may attempt to settle the matter without filing a lawsuit. If a settlement cannot be reached at this stage of the personal injury claim, your attorney may file and serve a complaint. You will be listed as the plaintiff, and the party you are suing will be listed as the defendant. This complaint document will outline the nature of the accident and your injuries, the basis for holding the defendant liable, and the types of damages you seek. The defendant will then be required to file an answer to the complaint.

3. Discovery

When both sides have filed, you’ll enter the discovery phase. Throughout this phase, your attorney may investigate the details of your claim, request additional documents, gather witness statements, consult with accident reconstruction experts or medical experts, and send a list of questions to the defendant.

4. Pretrial Motions and Hearings

Typically, pretrial motions are used to compel the other side to provide evidence or to limited evidence. However, attorneys may also use this phase to file a motion to dismiss the case or resolve the case before going to trial. The defendant may try to have the case dismissed based on lack of evidence or jurisdiction.

5. Settlement Negotiations

95% of personal injury cases are resolved during this phase. The attorneys for both parties may work to try and reach an agreement before the case goes to trial. The defendant agrees to pay the negotiated compensation in a settlement, and the plaintiff agrees to release the defendant from liability.

The plaintiff may make a demand for compensation. The defendant may reply with an offer. The two parties may go back and forth several times before reaching an agreement and may require a mediator to help the parties settle.

6. Trial

Only about 5% of all personal injury cases make it to trial. Trials can be long and tedious, so most defendants and plaintiffs try to settle before this point.

7. Collection of Judgment or Settlement

After a jury enters a judgment or you have reached a settlement, your attorney will begin the process of collecting and distributing the funds, including funds owed to you. Attorneys who work on a contingency retainer will deduct the funds owed to them before dispersing the remaining funds to you.

8. Post-Trial Motions and Appeals

If the court enters a judgment in your favor, the defendant has the option to file for a post-trial motion with the intent to set aside the judgment or reduce the amount awarded to you. Additionally, they may pursue an appeal, asking a higher court to review the case and determine if any legal errors occurred at trial.

Hire an Experienced Kentucky Personal Injury Attorney

If you or someone you love has suffered injuries due to the negligence of another, contact Saladino & Schaaf. With over 85 years of combined experience, our attorneys are equipped to help you get the compensation you deserve for your personal injury claim. Our attorneys will work with you through every stage of the process to try and settle your claim as quickly as possible so that you can move forward with your life and the healing process. Contact us online today, or give us a call at 270-444-0406 (Paducah) or 270-753-1529 (Murray) today to schedule a free consultation.




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stages of a personal injury claim




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Saladino & Schaaf, PLLC is dedicated to providing high quality, aggressive legal representation to victims of personal injury and wrongful death. Since 1984, this firm and its predecessors have had one goal in mind – to help the victims of personal injury put the pieces of their lives back together.

Areas of Practice

Car Accidents learn more
Semi-Truck Wrecks learn more
Motorcycle Wrecks learn more
Workplace Injuries learn more
Hospital Negligence learn more
Nursing Home Neglect learn more
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