Victims of PA car accidents who want to pursue legal action often have questions about the legal process. Part 1 of this article discussed what happens after a car accident victim meets with the lawyer and before a complaint is filed. Part 2 of the article will discuss what happens after a complaint is filed.
After a complaint is filed, the at-fault driver (defendant) is served with the complaint. A lawyer for the defendant then files an answer to the complaint and enters his/her appearance. If defense counsel does not object to the complaint, then the discovery phase begins.
This phase involves parties, i.e., the injured party (plaintiff) and the at-fault driver (defendant), exchanging discoverable information. Each side will send Interrogatories to the other side. Interrogatories are essentially questions on paper for respective parties to answer with regard to the accident, such as how the accident happened, what injuries were sustained, whether there are any pictures, etc. Each side will also request the other side to answer a Request for Production of Documents, basically asking the other side to produce discoverable documents, records they possess relating to the accident. These documents often include insurance information, medical records, police reports or witness statements.
After paper discovery is exchanged, the parties will depose each other. This means the defendant or the plaintiff will be questioned by the attorney representing the other side. This typically happens at the lawyer's office or a conference room in a county courthouse. In the room, there will be a court reporter who transcribes the questions and answers into written form, also called deposition transcripts.
After the depositions, the lawyers from both sides may discuss the possibility of settlement. They may even discuss alternative ways to resolve the case. Alternative dispute resolutions may be a mediation or an arbitration. See PA & NJ Personal Injury Accidents - What Is The Difference Between A Mediation And An Arbitration?
If the case cannot be resolved via mediation or non-binding arbitration, the parties will proceed to trial.
If you were injured due to someone's negligence in a car accident, slip and fall accident, etc., and have questions about PA personal injury lawsuits, call Daniel J. O'Brien, Esq. to schedule a FREE consultation. Mr. O'Brien has been helping injured victims for 30 years in all types of accidents in PA and NJ. 877.944.8396