The term, "personal injury" is often used, but what exactly does it mean? "Personal Injury" is a blanket term for cases and legal actions relating to harm suffered by one or more individuals. Lawsuits stemming from bodily harm sustained by car accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, defective products, or other incidents involving a lack of due care would all be considered personal injury cases.
In a personal injury case an attorney can help you determine what you and your family's damages are. Basically, damages are the losses which you have incurred because of your injury. These losses can include damage to property, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. In some cases your family may also be eligible for damages such as loss of services and loss of consortium
After coming up with an approximate dollar amount for your damages, your attorney will contact the person or persons who injured you (or their attorneys), as well as any insurance companies (or their attorneys) which cover them. This contact is important for two reasons. First, your attorney will inform these other parties that you are represented by an attorney. Secondly, your attorney will may initiate negotiations with the other side, and try to "settle" your case. If a case is "settled" it means that compromise was reached and you should receive a fair payout without going to trial. Your attorney will work to settle your case with these other parties before actually filing a lawsuit. Sometimes, comprise can be reached at this point and no further action is needed.
If a settlement cannot be agreed upon by your attorney and the other side, your attorney will file a summons and complaint with the court and the other parties, naming the other parties as defendants and initiating a lawsuit against them. A lawsuit can be a complicated process; once filed, your attorney will continue the work he or she started in the settlement phase by further interviewing witnesses and experts, collecting documents and records held by the other side, conducting depositions, and performing many other tasks on your behalf.
At this point a deal can sometimes still be worked out between your attorney and the other side. If not, a trial will eventually be held. You and your attorney will have decided if you want to have a "bench trial" in which a judge renders the decision or a "jury trial" in which your case is presented to a jury which renders the decision. Unless there is an appeal, the judge or jury's decision is one of the last steps in a lawsuit.
Contact an Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney today to explore your options and to help determine what you are entitled to.
* Please note that this is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. If you have questions or need legal advice please setup an appointment with our attorney, or an attorney of your choosing.
Russell is a personal injury attorney with Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers. Russell represents injured clients in Hudson, New Richmond, River Falls, Prescott, Ellsworth, Roberts, Osceola, St. Croix Falls, Menomonie, Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and surrounding areas of Wisconsin.
Nicolet Law Firm has offices in Eau Claire, WI, Hudson, WI and Woodbury, MN and handles car accidents and other personal injury claims. For more information call 1-855-NICOLET or visit www.nicoletlaw.com.