Someone that has filed a personal injury claim becomes a claimant. Claimants try to negotiate a settlement with the responsible party, or that party’s insurance company. If a claimant’s efforts failed to lead to an agreement, then those efforts might get directed at the initiation of a lawsuit.
Procedure followed by the claimant that plans to become a litigant
File a complaint with the court. In that complaint, state the facts, those that gave rise to the file paper. Cite any law broken by the person that the litigant has chosen to sue. State clearly the amount of money that the litigant is demanding from the sued party.
After the complaint has been filed, the defendant has 4 days in which to provide an answer. Unless the defendant has agreed to settle with the litigant, a discovery session gets scheduled. At the discovery session the 2 disputing parties face each other. Each side must share the facts about its evidence and its planned witnesses.
Efforts at a settling the dispute continue
The attempt to reach a settlement does not end, just because the former claimant has chosen to file lawsuit. In fact, the disputing parties might be required to attend a series of settlement conferences, before a trial can take place.
If those conferences fail to encourage creation of an agreement between the 2 sides, then the process moves forward. That means that each side can make motions, in order to establish the evidence that will be presented at a coming trial. Before the trial begins, jury selection takes place.
Once the scheduled trial gets underway, the Personal Injury Lawyer in Waterloo representing either side might choose to make further motions. After a motion has been made, the opposing lawyers speak with the judge. Sometimes they speak at the bench; at other times, they join the judge in his or her office.
A trip into that office could prove significant. It could lead to reconsideration of the claims made by the litigant, or of the statements made by the defendant. In other words, a conference session in the judge’s office could pave the way for creation of a settlement.
Judges do not enforce a deadline for a conference. In fact, they stand ready to alter the trial’s planned timeline, in order to make way for a formal settling of the disputed issue. In other words, a trial could end in a settlement, instead of a verdict.
If the 2 sides fail to reach an agreement, the jury must decide who should pay for any damages. Yet the jury’s decision could be challenged. Submission of an appeal would allow for the making of such a challenge. Hence, the outcome of a lawsuit remains in question.