PHASES OF A SETTLEMENT
PHASES OF A SETTLEMENT
A person who files a lawsuit after going through a car accident will have to go through several phases. Not every case will go to trial, but when one files a lawsuit, these steps can be expected:
This the first phase of discovery, consisting of a list of questions sent to the opposing party. Its main purpose is to gather more information. In order to prevent harassment, the questions have a limit of 45. Most interrogatories are around 30 questions. Types of questions normally asked include when the accident occurred, or the injuries sustained, as well as the types of medical treatments received as a result of injuries arising from the car accident.
This is the second phase of the discovery process. While it is still mostly about gathering information for the lawsuit, it consists of an oral interview with the party involved in the accident, usually by an attorney. Other people may be interviewed as part of the deposition, such as witnesses, police officers, doctors, and any other individual who may be able to provide valuable information related to the accident. A deposition can take hours, so participants are notified well in advance so that they can be fully prepared.
Settlements are usually done before a trial starts or before its conclusion, as its main purpose is to avoid the trial process altogether. Settlements are reached if the parties agree to settle out of court. If both sides agree to award compensation for damages or injuries sustained in a car accident, the payment must be made in a timely manner. Failure to do so could result in punitive actions. It could take some time before payments are received, as there could be delays due to extenuating circumstances, but a complainant should rest assured that the other party is legally obligated to follow through with the settlement upon agreeing.
If both parties fail to agree on a settlement, they proceed to a trial. This means the court will now help in finding out who is at fault and which party is liable. The trial process itself consists of six parts: jury selection, opening statements, presenting of evidence, closing arguments, jury deliberation, and verdict. Depending on what the jury decides, the court will be enforcing the decision and will order the losing party to pay the winning party the amount that has been agreed upon or decided by the court.
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