At Macomb Injury Lawyers, we understand that most people have not been personally involved in a lawsuit before. That is why our experienced attorneys are here to put your mind at ease and guide you through it every step of the way. In that spirit, below are some FAQs about what you can expect in terms of your participation during a lawsuit:
Will I Have to Go to Court During a Lawsuit?
During the pendency of a lawsuit, there are a few occasions where your presence is mandatory at the court in which your case was filed. Rest assured, in those scenarios one of our experienced personal injury attorneys will be right there with you to competently handle the matter at hand!
When Will I Have to Go to Court?
During the discovery (information gathering) period of a case, there will be a handful of conferences scheduled by the court where only the attorneys involved meet at the courthouse with the judge presiding over the case to discuss the particular facts and/or issues. This is known as a Status Conference. Status conferences are often a mere scheduling matter for the judge to make sure the parties are on track with the court’s discovery order.
There are other occasions, however, where the judge orders parties with settlement authority to be present at a scheduled hearing at the court – also known as a Settlement Conference. You as the victim are the individual with settlement authority, because at the end of the day you have the final say as to whether to settle your case. In those occasions, your attendance is mandatory. Your participation, however, will normally be limited to private discussions between you and your attorney.
What If the Case Does Not Resolve at the Settlement Conference?
- Jury Trial
When the parties are unable to resolve a case by the settlement conference date, the court will normally schedule the matter to go to Trial. While many cases tend to resolve before a trial date (which can be several months after a settlement conference), this is what our attorneys at Macomb Injury Lawyers prepare for from the very first day we meet an injury victim. Our job as trial attorneys is to view every case from the perspective of bringing it before a jury and will never shy away from fighting for you in open court to get the compensation you deserve!
If a case does not resolve by the date of a settlement conference, however, there are other procedures in which you may participate in the attempt to resolve a case before going to trial – the most notable being a Facilitation hearing. In personal injury lawsuits, the facilitation process is where many cases often resolve. The way it works is fairly straightforward: the parties agree to hire a specific independent attorney to get involved, known as a facilitator, whose sole job and mission is to settle the case. The parties then schedule a date and time of a hearing with the facilitator who has been briefed at length about the circumstances of the case before the hearing. The hearing date will of course be coordinated to accommodate your availability.
What Will My Participation Be Outside of Court?
- Interrogatories and Depositions
During discovery, there will be a point where the defense sends a set of written questions directed to you called “Interrogatories.” Simply put, Interrogatories are a list of questions about you and your injuries sustained in an accident that you will complete with the assistance of your attorney. Your answers to those questions provide a baseline for the questions you will be asked in your Deposition – a question and answer session taken under oath.
(For more questions about what a Deposition is or what it specifically entails, check out our FAQ/Blog positing dated March 31, 2020 titled “Depositions – FAQ”)
- Keep Us Informed!
The most effective way for keeping your case on track is to keep us informed about what you’re going through as it pertains to your injuries and medical treatment. For example, if one of your doctors refers you to go see a new doctor, such as a spinal specialist, we need to know who that treater is so we can obtain the respective medical records which in many ways prove your case!
- Get Better!
The best thing you can do for yourself while a lawsuit is ongoing is to listen to the advice of your treating doctors and do whatever it takes to get back to your normal life as before the accident. By simply following your doctors’ recommendations, you will generate the medical record we need to prove your case!
CALL US TODAY. WE CAN HELP!
If you have any questions about what to personally expect during a lawsuit, call us at Macomb Injury Lawyers today at (586) 333-3000. We are here to help you!