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What Are The Stages in a New York Personal Injury Case?

For most persons injured in a New York accident, the legal process of claiming compensation can seem quite overwhelming. The wording of the laws and the entire structure of the system to seek justice is such that navigating it without an expert personal injury lawyer on your side can be a huge challenge.

stages personal injury case

For most persons injured in a New York accident, the legal process of claiming compensation can seem quite overwhelming. The wording of the laws and the entire structure of the system to seek justice is such that navigating it without an expert personal injury lawyer on your side can be a huge challenge.

Most people get intimidated by the very thought of filing a personal injury claim but with a little basic information about how such cases proceed, it is possible to take the right steps to recover damages that you rightfully deserve. Injury lawsuits can take different forms, but they all follow a set pattern and events flow through a few basic stages in all such cases. Read on to get a brief overview of the stages involved in a New York City personal injury case, so that you know what to expect at each point.

Stage 1: Filing the Complaint

The complaint or petition is generally the very first document that gets filed in the course of a personal injury lawsuit in NYC. This gives an outline of the case the plaintiff has against the defendant and identifies the parties who are involved in the case. This document also has a prayer for relief in which the plaintiff specifies the action they want the court to require the defendant to fulfill. The complaint is meant to give the defendant information about the facts as the plaintiff sees them, and the legal basis for their claims.

Stage 2: Serving the Summons to the Defendant in a New York City Personal Injury Claim

The summons is a document that bears the name of the court where the lawsuit will proceed, and details of the concerned parties. This document will be identified by a unique number called the docket number. The summons serves as a notification to the defendant that a complaint has been filed against them. It specifies a time period within which the defendant has to file their answer to the points raised in the petition. If the defendant does not respond within the time provided in the summons, they are said to be “in default”. The defendant is served the summons along with the complaint after they have confirmed their identity. In some cases, the summons may be delivered to the defendant through the mail. After the serving of the summons, the court is considered to have the power to take decisions about the events described in the complaint.

Stage 3: Answers to the Served Complaint

The defendant provides their answer to each of the points raised by the plaintiff in their complaint. Usually, this involves a response in the form of one of three options: the defendant can write “denied”, “admitted” or “insufficient knowledge to admit or deny” against each paragraph of the complaint. The defendant may also set out “affirmative defenses” in which they explain the legal reason for why they are not liable for the damages sustained by the plaintiff. In a section of the document called “counterclaims”, the defendant has an option to raise their own claims against the plaintiff. If a defendant raises a counterclaim, the plaintiff may file a “reply” that gives their answer with the same three options of “deny”, “admit” or “lack of information”; they can also give their explanation of why they disagree with the defendant’s counterclaims.

Stage 4: Discovery Phase of a Personal Injury Lawsuit in NYC

The discovery phase allows both sides to collect relevant information from the other side. The purpose of this activity is to make sure that both parties know what facts the other party is in knowledge of, so that they can be well-prepared. This also ensures that there are no surprise elements that spring up during the course of the trial. Different tools such as written discovery, document production and deposition are used in the discovery stage. Written discovery comprises of questions that are called interrogatories. The questions ask for answers that clarify your version of the incident and set out the claims you are making in the case. Sometimes, this document may also contain special questions, called special interrogatories, where the queries are very specific to your particular situation. Written discovery may also make use of a request for admission which is a form that requires you to simply admit or deny certain aspects of the case. Document production is the process of asking the other party to provide you with the documents concerning your case. Most commonly, the documents produce will include medical records, hospital bills, employment records, and paystubs and business records. Deposition is a tool in which you have to answer questions asked by a lawyer, under oath. The answers you provide and all the conversation that takes place during a deposition will be transcribed by a court reporter. This procedure is often used as a strategy to ensure a person does not change their story at a later date. It can also serve as a means of finding out what a witness says, and can provide valuable information about how you can expect them to behave during the actual trial.

Stage 5: Motion to Resolve Before a Trial in New York City

In some lawsuits, there could be a summary judgment motion that serves to resolve the case before the trial begins. This is generally seen in situations when there is no dispute over the facts of the case, and if both parties are willing to accept the review provided by the judge. In cases where the claim has not been properly stated, or if the service of process is insufficient, or if the case is fond to lack subject matter, or when there is a lack of jurisdiction, the lawsuit may be dismissed at the very beginning of the litigation process before reaching a trial.

Stage 6: Settlement of the NY Personal Injury Case before a Trial

If both sides are agreeable to a negotiation or a mediation process, they can choose to arrive at a settlement out of court. This option is generally used when the defendant wants to avoid the public exposure, or the expense or the difficulty associated with a court trial. Settlement offers made by a defendant must always be evaluated with the help of a seasoned NYC personal injury lawyer so that you know whether the deal being proposed is a fair one.

Stage 7: Trial in a New York Civil Court

When the negotiation process is not successful, and both sides are unwilling to agree to settle, the case then proceeds to a court trial. The first step in preparing for the trial is the selection of the jury. Next, during the actual trial, there will be opening statements by both sides, recording the testimony of witnesses and cross-examination of the witnesses by the attorneys of the defendant and the plaintiff. This will be followed by closing arguments from both sides, and the jury will then deliberate on the case, to arrive at the final verdict. In most personal injury case, it can take anywhere between three to five days to complete a court trial although a longer period may be necessary in cases that are complex.

Stage 8: Collecting Damages After the Judgment

Receiving a verdict in your favor is not the end of the trial; the plaintiff has to successfully collect the damages awarded in the judgment. This can take a lot of work between the attorneys of both sides before you finally receive the check of the compensation that is your due.

Stage 9: Filing an Appeal

The side that loses the New York personal injury lawsuit can file an appeal which will be reviewed by a panel of judges. This review will go over the proceedings in the trial and find out if there were any breaks in protocol, and also assess if justice has been served. If either side finds that the outcome of such an appeal in a state court or federal court is unsatisfactory, they can file an appeal in the Supreme Court.

Hire a Dedicated and Competent Personal Injury Attorney in New York City Today

Being injured in an accident can be a harrowing experience. With an experienced New York City personal injury lawyer from Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP on your side, it can be possible for you to get the medical care and rest you desperately need while we manage the process of ensuring you get financial compensation for the damage you sustained. You may believe that there is enough time to consider claiming damages after you recover from your injuries, but when it comes to personal injury cases, it is best to start action at the earliest. Evidence in your favor may get tampered with, and even your own memory may fade over time. To make sure that you don’t jeopardize your chances of winning maximum compensation from the party at fault, it is vital that you consult an expert personal lawyer in New York soon after your injury. To know more about how we can help you, call us today at 212-344-1000 or contact us online for a free and confidential case evaluation.

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April Johnson
April Johnson
15:54 30 Jun 23
Easy access to thr firm with a very nice Lawyer
Benjamin Roussey
Benjamin Roussey
19:03 29 Jun 23
No firm gets it done like RMFW. They are the best.They are awesome - for sure.
Roberto Martinez
Roberto Martinez
19:02 24 May 23
I’ve been in the personal injury field as an investigator for 29 years. All in New York City. Out of all the hundreds of Law Firms I’ve worked with, Rosenberg Minc Falkoff & Wolf, would have to be at the very top of my list. Amazing staff great attorneys.If you want the job done right, these are you guys.
Julio Ochoa
Julio Ochoa
20:49 18 May 23
I highly recommend Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP for their outstanding assistance in obtaining a settlement for an Erb's Palsy birth injury case. Their knowledge, dedication, and compassionate attitude were important in attaining a successful end. Their professionalism and assistance were simply outstanding from beginning to end. I am deeply thankful for their representation and would enthusiastically recommend them to anyone seeking justice in a similar situation.
Aisha Neri
Aisha Neri
20:29 18 May 23
I recently had the privilege of working with Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP on my daughter’s birth injury case involving Erb's Palsy, and I cannot express enough gratitude for their exceptional legal services. From the initial consultation to the successful settlement, they demonstrated profound expertise, unwavering dedication, and genuine compassion for my family's situation.From the very beginning, the team proved their commitment to justice. They thoroughly investigated the circumstances surrounding my child Erb's Palsy birth injury, leaving no stone unturned. Their extensive knowledge and understanding of medical malpractice law, coupled with their deep expertise in birth injury cases, provided us with tremendous confidence in their ability to handle our case.The attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff consistently displayed exceptional professionalism and attention to detail throughout the entire legal process. They meticulously gathered evidence, consulted with medical experts, and built a compelling case that clearly outlined the negligence and liability on the part of the medical professionals involved. One aspect that truly stood out was the genuine care and compassion exhibited by Daniel Minc, Lorraine Licul, and the entire team at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff. They treated us not just as clients but as individuals with unique emotions and concerns. They took the time to listen attentively to our worries, provided constant updates on the progress of our case, and promptly responded to our inquiries, ensuring we felt supported and reassured throughout the process. Their empathy and understanding made an immeasurable difference during such a challenging and emotionally taxing time.When it came time to negotiate a settlement, Daniel Minc demonstrated remarkable skill and tenacity. He fought fiercely on our behalf, advocating for fair compensation to cover any potential long-term effects of Erb's Palsy on my child's life. His negotiation skills were truly impressive, as they secured a settlement that exceeded our expectations and provided the financial resources necessary to support my child's future needs.I cannot recommend Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff highly enough to anyone seeking legal representation in Erb's Palsy birth injury cases or any other medical malpractice matters. Their extensive experience, unwavering dedication, and empathetic approach make them an exceptional choice for families navigating the complexities of birth injury litigation. Thanks to Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, my family now has the means to provide the best care and opportunities for my child's future.If you are seeking a law firm that combines legal expertise with genuine compassion, look no further than Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP. They will tirelessly fight for your rights and ensure your voice is heard, providing you with the support and justice you deserve.
Aoki R
Aoki R
17:14 17 May 23
I highly recommend Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP. They are a team of dedicated professionals fully committed to their clients. I have witnessed the firm's amazing work ethic in my experience with their attorneys and Lorraine Licul. Lorraine is a knowledable, empathetic and results-driven professional. Minc is an excellent attorney and I greatly appreciate the firm's expertise.
Michael Levites
Michael Levites
17:42 12 May 23
I have recommended this firm to some of my friends and I heard back only positive feedback about the client responsiveness, diligence and hard work put in by these attorneys. I will continue to refer anyone who suffered a personal injury to Rosenberg Minc..
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