If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, you likely have a personal injury claim. Whether you were hurt in a car wreck, a fall, a motorcycle collision, a trucking collision, hurt as a pedestrian, attacked by an animal, hit riding your bicycle or have some other personal injury claim, you will want to have an experienced lawyer discuss the case and let you know if you need a lawyer. These claims all have some similarities, but each has its differences as well. The award-winning lawyers at the Miller Law Group have handled all of these types of claims, and know how to evaluate them and how to advise you.
With most cases, we try to negotiate with the insurance companies BEFORE we file a lawsuit. That’s how most claims resolve. However, that doesn’t always work, and some cases simply need to proceed through the process of a filing a lawsuit and going through the steps to prepare it to be tried in court (the whole process is called “litigation,” while claims where no lawsuit has been filed are said to be in “pre-litigation.”)
Starting your lawsuit involves drafting a document called a Complaint. It is sent to the defendant through steps required by law (these steps are called “service of process”) to prove the defendant has proper notice of the lawsuit. The defendant then has 30 days to respond once they get the Complaint, and can ask the clerk of court for an extra 30 days. That time is normally given both at this stage and with other times throughout the case, so normally you should assume at least 60 days between each step of the case. The parties then usually have three to five months to send each other written questions (called “interrogatories”) and request for documents (called “requests for production”), and to conduct depositions, which are just question and answer sessions between the parties and their attorneys, conducted under oath in front of a court reporter. Other depositions may happen then, including deposing other eyewitnesses and whatever experts the parties decide to use. Cases in Superior Court are then submitted to mediation, where the parties meet with a neutral mediator to see if they can settle the case before going to trial. If the case does not settle, the parties agree to a trial date, and go forward to trial.
Once the case is filed, if the parties can’t agree to dates for things like the trial, the Court will decide for them. A typical timeframe for most personal injury cases in Raleigh and the surrounding counties is about a year from the date of filing the Complaint until the case is in front of a jury. Lots of things can affect that timing, and of course that’s just an average. Some cases move more quickly (not much more quickly, though) and some can take much, much more longer, especially if one party appeals something to our appellate courts.
The lawyers at the Miller Law Group have tried over 100 cases before juries. They have represented clients throughout the Southeastern United States and in several foreign countries. If you have a personal injury claim, contact us today for a free consultation. If we can help you, we’ll take the case on a contingency fee, so we only get paid if we get you a recovery. Contact the Miller Law Group today. We’ve got your back.