Stephen Hasner | Personal Injury | February 2, 2022
There are many different types of lawyers. Transactional lawyers handle things like real estate deals, business issues, and other contractual matters. A litigation lawyer is an attorney who handles cases that proceed through the court system.
Civil cases are filed when there are disputes between individuals, usually involving things such as property, contractual rights, or damages for personal injury (as opposed to criminal cases that are filed to punish people under the criminal laws).
The role of a litigation lawyer is to provide their client with sound legal advice in a lawsuit, protect the client’s rights, and represent the client in all court proceedings.
An Atlanta personal injury lawyer is a litigation attorney. They handle things like car accidents, construction accidents, wrongful death lawsuits, and much more. The litigation lawyer will assess your civil case and advise you of the damages that may be available. Most importantly, a litigation lawyer’s job is to handle a civil lawsuit through every phase of a trial resulting from a civil lawsuit.
What Does Litigation Mean?
The word “litigation” is one that most people are familiar with. However, few people outside of law truly understand its definition.
It may surprise you to learn that it isn’t another term for “lawsuit.”
The word litigation refers to the process by which an attorney contests and resolves disputes within the realm of our legal system. Litigation is general term used to refer to any court case, from slip and fall accidents to custody disputes.
What Does a Litigation Lawyer Do in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
When you or a loved one are injured in an accident, you hire a personal injury lawyer to file a claim with the insurance company seeking compensation. Most personal injury lawsuits are settled before they go trial, during what is known as the pre-litigation phase of the case.
During that time, your personal injury lawyer will be closely monitoring your injuries, hiring experts, investigating claims, interviewing witnesses, and building a case.
However, if the case is not resolved through a settlement, it will go to trial, and ultimately the case will be “litigated” through the courts.
Elements of Litigation in Personal Injury Cases
When a personal injury case moves into the litigation phase, a litigation attorney will prepare for trial. While your lawyer might still be negotiating fiercely on your behalf for a fair settlement, they will also be preparing for trial at the same time. Trial is always a possibility, and the court’s calendar doesn’t wait. Likewise, settlement can happen at any time, even on the courthouse steps right before trial.
Duruing the trial preparation phase, several things will happen.
While the following section will provide a general summary of what you can expect during the litigation phase of a personal injury lawsuit, there may be other steps involved depending on the case.
The five common elements of personal injury litigation are as follows:
The complaint is what begins the lawsuit. Your lawyer will file a complaint setting forth all of the details of your accident. It will describe what happened and why the other party is liable for your injuries.
The complaint will list the damages that you are requesting that the other party pay for causing your injuries. The other party will have an opportunity to respond to the allegations.
Discovery refers to the process by which a personal injury law firm collects evidence in support of your personal injury claim. During the discovery phase, documents related to your accident will be exchanged, involved parties will be required to answer written questions, depositions will be taken under oath, and court hearings may occur to iron out any disputed issues concerning the case.
During a personal injury lawsuit, either party may file a motion in court. Motions may cover a range of disputed topics, including the inclusion or the exclusion of certain evidence related to the lawsuit or a request for expanded damage compensation to be considered at trial. Motions are separate from the complaint and deal with other issues that arise during the lawsuit that the judge needs to rule on.
The Calling of Expert Witnesses
The use of an expert witness in a civil lawsuit is often essential to the case’s successful outcome. An expert witness is usually an individual with specific knowledge of a particular subject that has special significance to the nature of your personal injury case. Usually, the expert witness possesses special education and training to qualify them as experts in their field.
For example, in a medical malpractice lawsuit, your attorney may call another doctor as an expert witness to testify that the medical professional responsible for your injury acted negligently.
Car accident lawsuits may use experts such as accident reconstructionists, toxicologists, forensic scientists, or engineers.
Trial preparation is an essential job of a litigation attorney in a personal injury lawsuit. The attorney will meet with any witnesses involved in your case and prepare them, so they are ready to testify in court. Trial preparation ensures that the case goes smoothly and there are no surprises that can hurt your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
Once the case goes to trial in Georgia, it is up to your Atlanta litigation lawyer to present all of the evidence necessary in support of your personal injury claim. It will be up to the judge or a jury to render the final decision in your case, ending the litigation phase and, hopefully, awarding you the compensation that you and your family deserve.
Contact the Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers at Hasner Law PC For Help
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