When you get gravely injured, you could face many problems besides your immediate injuries. Medical bills can quickly add up to be hundreds of thousands of dollars, side effects, and lingering symptoms can persist for quite a while, and you may have lingering feelings of distress about your injuries. When you are dealing with the aftermath of an injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you need competent legal help.
Luckily, our lawyers can assist you with filing a lawsuit after you are injured. We can talk to opposing lawyers, interview witnesses, collect evidence and information, and form a strong argument for you to take to court and fight for the financial compensation you deserve.
To schedule a free initial case review, call The Martello Law Firm’s personal injury lawyers at (914) 685-6950.
What Happens Before Trial in a Peekskill, NY Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A jury trial is only the last step in a long legal process for a personal injury lawsuit. The full legal process takes place mostly before trial. In fact, many trials do not happen until upwards of a year after a case is filed. Therefore, it is important to retain legal counsel as soon as possible after you are injured.
Talking to Our Lawyers
The first step in any legal proceeding is to have an initial discussion with legal counsel. One thing that is important to understand is what can and cannot happen at initial meetings with our lawyers. We can do certain things that can help with your case, but some things we cannot do until there is an attorney-client relationship, which does not exist until there is written confirmation of that fact.
In an initial case review, you will tell us the facts of your case, and we can give general advice about your situation. However, we cannot give specific legal advice until you are taken on as a client. After the initial case review, you can decide whether you wish to continue with our personal injury lawyers.
One of the lengthiest parts of lawsuits that happens before trial is something called discovery. Discovery is when lawyers on each side of the lawsuit ask for and exchange information so that the case proceeds on an even playing field of facts. Unlike what may be depicted on television, the legal process takes steps to make sure there are as few surprises as possible in any given case. Lawyers do this by exchanging information before a case goes to trial.
Lawyers can also refuse to give certain information in discovery if it is “privileged.” For example, we do not need to hand over conversations between you and our lawyers about trial strategy because that would be protected by the attorney-client privilege.
Depositions are another important and potentially very lengthy part of a lawsuit before it goes to trial. A deposition is a formal interview, under oath, of a witness or party to a lawsuit by the opposing lawyer. They are allowed to ask you questions that pertain to your case to try and get information for their side of the case. Since the deponent – the person being deposed – is under oath, they must answer truthfully. Lying in a deposition is a terrible idea that could very well lose you the case. However, you do not need to answer every question just because you are under oath. If our lawyers feel that a question is not relevant, unfair, or against the rules, we can object, and you will not have to answer.
Depositions can easily take many hours, and they will happen for anyone who is going to speak at trial, so it can be quite a while before the deposition process is finished.
Settling Personal Injury Lawsuits in Peekskill, NY
At any point before a personal injury lawsuit goes to trial, one side is allowed to offer to settle. Parties settle a case when they decide on a mutually agreed resolution of the dispute outside of trial. There is no finding of liability by a jury in a settlement (although some settlements do include an admission of liability in their terms), and you still may get a sizeable amount of financial compensation in a settlement. Often, one side will offer to settle a case because they want to avoid a lengthy lawsuit or feel their case is weak. However, a settlement offer is not the same as an admission of liability or that a case is weak. Many parties with strong arguments will offer to settle as a gesture of goodwill.
If you are given a settlement offer, it is important to consider it in comparison to what you may get from a trial. For example, the outcome of a trial can never be guaranteed, but a settlement is a sure thing. Ultimately, whether to settle or not is a decision to be made in light of your situation and the specific facts of your case.
Personal Injury Trials in Peekskill, NY
If a settlement cannot be reached between the parties, the case will go to trial. At trial, both sides will present their arguments and show evidence to the judge and jury. This process could take less than a day or go on for weeks, depending on the case. After the jury has heard all of the arguments and seen the evidence, the judge will instruct them as to the relevant law. The jury then goes to deliberate and returns with a verdict and, if you are successful, what damages you are to receive.
Call Our Peekskill, NY Personal Injury Lawyers
If you need help, call our personal injury lawyers for a free case review at The Martello Law Firm at (914) 685-6950