The Staged Completion of A Personal Injury Lawsuit

The legal system created an event that seems ready-made for presentation on television, or on the larger, silver screen. In a personal injury case, that event is a trial, one that takes place in stages.

The stages before commencement of the trial:

A consultation: That takes place between the victim of an accident and a consulted attorney. The personal injury lawyer in Edmonton understands that the victim is a potential client. During the consultation, the potential client learns whether or not the presented case is one that the consulted lawyer wants to handle.

The plaintiff arranges for the serving of the defendant: The defendant must be provided with notice of the action being made by the plaintiff. Meanwhile, the plaintiff must file a complaint in the appropriate court.

The court does not schedule a discovery session at the time that the plaintiff has filed a complaint. Instead, the court waits to receive proof that the defendant has been served. Then it awaits the defendant’s response. In other words, the court does not plan for the next stage until it has received the defendant’s response.

The holding of a discovery session: This stage allows for the sharing of the information that has been collected by each of the opposing parties. The information comes to light as each party’s lawyer questions the various witnesses.

The filing of preliminary motions: This stage establishes the ground rules for litigation. This is the stage where one of the 2 opposing lawyers might request a change of venue. The judge would decide whether or not to grant such a request.

The trial and the post-trial stages

The lawyers for the 2 opposing parties present their arguments in the courtroom. Oral statements from witnesses follow the presentation of arguments. Sometimes a display of physical evidence accompanies a witness’ statements.

After hearing all the statements and viewing all the evidence, the members of the jury deliberate. Following that deliberation, the jury issues its verdict, and that leads to the reading of the judgment.

Another stage is possible. That involves the holding of an appeal hearing. Either side can request an appeal if there has been a legal error or a legal dispute. For instance, the application of an incorrect law would provide either party with grounds for an appeal.

Does the legal system insist on the completion of all the listed stages?

No, the legal system has been designed to allow for the elimination of any stages that were expected to take place, prior to an agreement to settle. The 2 sides can decide to settle their dispute at any point in the lawsuit process.

The reaching of a settlement is the goal. Completion of the lawsuit’s stages is not the goal.