What Can I Expect Once a Lawsuit is Filed?
When a Fair Settlement Cannot Be Reached, a Lawsuit Can Be Filed
Many cases are settled in the personal injury claims process, without the need for court action. However, the filing of a lawsuit in court may be necessary if an insurance company will not agree to pay you full and fair compensation. The filing of a lawsuit begins the formal litigation process which may conclude in a trial wherein findings are made as to the claims of the parties. Though many cases settle after a lawsuit has been filed, but before the case reaches a trial. In fact, over 95% of personal injury claims are resolved before a trial commences. However, not knowing whether a particular case will fall in the other 5%, an attorney should prepare the case as if it will need to be tried.
The attorneys of The Rudman Law Firm, APC are litigators and trial lawyers, experienced and skilled in every aspect of the personal injury lawsuit. Our lawyers have over 60 years of combined experience representing clients in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in Los Angeles, and its surrounding areas. This page is intended to give you a brief description of what to expect once a lawsuit has been filed on your behalf.
Once a lawsuit has been filed, the parties are permitted to send to each other written questions seeking information about claims and defenses, as well as requests for documents. Written discovery generally includes:
- Form Interrogatories.A pre-printed form approved by the Judicial Council of California, which contains commonly asked questions in a civil law suit.
- Specially Prepared Interrogatories.Further written questions prepared by a party (usually by the party’s attorney) prepared specifically for the case at issue.
- Requests for Production of Documents. Written requests to a party to produce documents that support the contentions of the parties.
- Requests for Admission.Written requests to a party that it admit certain facts, so as to limit the issues that will be argued at the time of trial.
Your attorney will prepare and serve the opposing party with various forms of written discovery. Also, you will be required to answer written discovery. Your attorney will help you prepare and formalize your responses.
Record subpoenas are requests for documents issued by a party in a lawsuit to a person or entity that is not a party to the lawsuit. Subpoenas are often issued to the injured party’s medical providers and employers for medical and employment records. Your attorney will have the opportunity to make any valid objections to the subpoena when warranted, and to obtain copies of the records being produced.
A deposition is a proceeding where a party or witness is asked oral questions by the attorneys, in the presence of a court reporter, and after taking an oath to tell the truth under penalty of perjury.
Physical and Mental Examinations
When a party to a case is claiming ongoing physical or mental injuries, the defense may be permitted to require the injured party to submit to a physical or mental examination conducted by a physician hired by the defense.
Mediations and Settlement Conferences
Such proceedings involve the parties meeting with a neutral attorney, judge, or other professional, who will attempt to facilitate confidential settlement negotiations between the parties in an informal setting. Mediators do not make decisions as to fault or value, but rather attempt to persuade the parties to reach a settlement of the case.
A trial is a court proceeding where all parties have an opportunity to present their evidence and arguments before a jury and/or judge. The parties, as well as lay and expert witnesses, will be called to give testimony. The attorneys will make arguments to support their clients’ contentions, and ultimately the jury or judge will make a finding as to the fault of the parties, and potentially a determination of compensation to be awarded to the party who filed the lawsuit.
An appeal is the process wherein the decision of a judge or jury’s verdict is reviewed by a higher court which determines whether the prior decision or verdict will stand or be overturned.
The Experienced Attorneys of the Rudman Law Firm, APC Can Represent You
We have dedicated our entire practice solely to the representation of clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Our attorneys have been battling insurance companies in court, on behalf of their clients, for their entire careers. For quality representation by skilled litigators and trial lawyers, call our Studio City office at (818) 769-6969, our Los Angeles office (213) 375-3777, or toll free at (844) 478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN for a free phone consultation.