Pre-Trial Process for Raleigh Injury Cases
When someone files a lawsuit, it does not mean they immediately go to trial. The average length of a case that is in litigation is somewhere between 12 and 18 months. After filing a lawsuit there are some initial legal documents that need to be filed, then the case goes through discovery. During discovery the parties are on a fact-finding mission, where each side is looking for information that helps or hurts their claim. They use that information to evaluate the strengths or weaknesses of their claims or defenses.
In North Carolina specifically, there is mandatory mediation for all cases that are pending in Superior Court. The court makes all of the decision-makers who are involved in pending litigation come together, sit down, and have a full and frank discussion about the possibilities of settlement. All of that takes place before a Raleigh personal injury case ever gets into a courtroom.
What to Do Before a Trial
Someone bringing a personal injury claim should gather all of their background information and cooperate to the extent that they can. What they should not do is be on social media making statements about their claims..
What a person should not do is make public statements about their injuries, their case, or the defendant. Stay off of social media, blog posts and things of that nature that could be potentially detrimental to their case.
What a Lawyer Does Before Trial
By the time a case gets to trial, a Raleigh personal injury lawyer has lived and breathed that case for many, many months. They drafted the documents that have been filed with the court. They have conducted the discovery, which means they have answered questions in writing for the other side on behalf of their client. They have taken depositions, which means they have gotten sworn testimony from all the people that they intend to hear from at trial.
For instance, in a motor-vehicle accident setting, they have deposed the defendant and gotten their version of what happened. That is going to be really important in being able to judge the strength or weakness of a case.
The lawyer will also have mediated the claim with the client and in many instances, talked to their treating doctors. That is a general view of what a Raleigh lawyer is going to do before a case goes to trial.
Information and Evidence Collected Pre-Trial
A person bringing a personal injury claims should provide everything about their medical treatment, their prior medical conditions, information related to time missed from work, and information about how their injuries have affected their daily life. An injured person’s ability to articulate how they experienced that injury, along with documents or tangible things they can bring to the lawyer to help demonstrate it, are critical to the case.
It helps to paint a vivid picture, that would help someone listening to that evidence get a better idea of how this injured person experienced their injury.
Benefits and Issues of a Short Pre-Trial Period
Whether or not a short pre-trial period is problematic or beneficial will depend on the specifics of the case. If there were no complex issues involved when the injured person filed their case, and if the medical treatment is pretty straightforward and the doctors are favorable, then there is a benefit to the short pre-trial period because there is no reason to drag it out.
A long pre-trial period, however, is not necessarily a bad thing if at the end it helps the injured person amass the type of evidence needed to support their claim.