When you suffer serious injury in an accident, you may need to open an Indiana personal injury case. Unfortunately, the claims and lawsuit processes can be lengthy, frustrating, and time consuming.
It’s easy to make mistakes along the way if you’re handling your Indiana personal injury case on your own. An Indiana personal injury attorney can guide you through the paperwork, hearing, and final decision stages for your case.
Regardless of whether or not you decide to hire an attorney, it’s important that you’re aware of what lies ahead if you decide to open an Indiana personal injury case. Here are the basic stages so you know what to expect.
Filing Your Indiana Personal Injury Case
The first step is to file your Indiana personal injury case. It is highly advised that you have an Indiana personal injury attorney working with you, as you will be filing papers with the court and attending hearings. This requires sizable amounts of paperwork:
Initial Court Papers
- Complaint/Petition: Outline of the case, including parties involved, accident details, and damages sought
- Summons: Official notice to the defendant that they are being sued for the damages you incurred
- Answer: Defendant’s reply to the summons in which they accept the charges, deny them, or claim there is not enough information to make a decision
- Counterclaim: Filed when the defendant also has a claim against you, arising from the same accident
- Reply to Counterclaim: Your response to the counterclaim in which you accept the charges, deny them, or claim there is not enough information to make a decision
- Cross-Claim: Another claim of negligence which occurs when there are multiple parties involved, such as in a multi-car accident when there are claims against certain drivers but not others
- Third-Party Complaint: When a defendant being sued can cite responsibility of another party for your injuries, such as a manufacturer of a defective product
Once the proper paperwork is filed and the parties involved are made aware of your Indiana personal injury case, your Indiana personal injury attorney can begin the process of discovery to help support your case.
Discovery Phase of Your Indiana Personal Injury Case
The discovery phase is when you gather and present the facts of your accident and injury. Help from an Indiana personal injury attorney is critical to make sure you do not omit any important facts.
The defense in your Indiana personal injury case will be looking for any holes in your evidence to try to prove it was not their fault that you were injured in the accident. Documentation of your accident and injury is key in proving your case. Types of evidence can include:
- Medical bills
- Photographs of the accident scene and your injuries
- Witness testimony
- Police reports
- Tax returns or pay stubs
- Expert testimony
- Repair estimates (property damage)
- Doctors reports
- Pain diaries
For all the damages you claim, you must have substantial evidence to support the amounts you seek through your lawsuit.
Trial Proceedings in Your Indiana Personal Injury Case
Once the evidence of your Indiana personal injury case has been collected and prepared for trial, your Indiana personal injury attorney will bring your case to the courtroom. As long as there is no motion to dismiss, where the judge must decide if the case is viable for trial or not, your Indiana personal injury case will go through the basic stages of a personal injury trial. This includes:
- Jury selection
- Opening statements
- Presentation of evidence
- Closing arguments
- Jury deliberation
- A verdict
As long as the verdict is in your favor, your Indiana personal injury case will then close and the verdict will outline what compensation you will receive. Your Indiana personal injury attorney will review the decision and award amount and advise you to accept or appeal the decision.
Help from an Indiana Personal Injury Attorney
Following a serious accident, you should be able to focus on recovery from your injuries and not spend your time dealing with insurance companies. While you focus on healing, let an Indiana personal injury attorney assist you on negotiating your settlement with the insurance company. You can relax and recover knowing that your case is being handled by a professional attorney experienced with the tactics of insurance claims adjusters.
The personal injury attorneys at Hensley Legal Group P.C. have helped Indiana residents settle many types of personal injury cases. From car accidents to surgical errors, if you or a loved one has suffered serious injury because of the negligence of another, we are here to help. Download a free copy of our eBook, Consumer’s Guide for Injured Victims, to learn more about your personal injury case. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.