When you seek a personal injury claim in California, your case will be divided into two sections — a pre-litigation and a litigation phase. During pre-litigation, you’ll compile your case and evidence. During the litigation process for personal injury claims, you’ll present your case to the other party, negotiate a settlement, and potentially go to court.

Understanding Pre-Litigation in Personal Injury Cases

So, what is pre-litigation when it comes to personal injury cases? The pre-litigation phase of your lawsuit will involve everything you do before you officially file your claim. Digging deeper into the pre-litigation meaning, this process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Reporting the accident.
  2. Getting medical treatment.
  3. Compiling evidence and documentation.
  4. Investigating the accident.
  5. Identifying who might be legally liable.
  6. Consulting with a lawyer.
  7. Valuing your claim.
  8. Consulting with medical experts.
  9. Determining the extent of your injury and recovery period.
  10. Filing your official paperwork.

The pre-litigation phase should involve in-depth information gathering. In general, the more work you put into this phase of your lawsuit, the better off your claim will be in the long run. As you enter into the litigation phase, all your pre-litigation legwork will strengthen your position and make for a more expedited settlement.

The Litigation Process Explained

Since the pre-litigation process is so in-depth, your next steps should seem a lot easier. First, you’ll need to file the official paperwork, which launches the litigation process. As soon as you officially file your claim, your case will be presented to the other party. Sometimes, your case will resolve very quickly with what’s called a pre-litigation settlement. This type of arrangement is common when the other party receives your case documents, reviews them thoroughly, and immediately decides that offering a settlement award is the best option.

When you get an offer, you’ll want to review the situation with your attorney. You don’t want to make the mistake of quickly accepting an offer that isn’t truly reflective of your losses.

Next, you and the other party will enter into the negotiation phase. Both parties will review the evidence and go back and forth over what the case is worth. If an agreement can’t be reached, then a court date will be scheduled. Once you are at trial, each party will present their arguments and a judge will ultimately decide what award is appropriate. Finally, you’ll receive your check. You’ll be able to use that check to cover your expenses and legal fees.

Pre-Litigation vs. Litigation

The personal injury litigation process begins almost immediately when you file your lawsuit, but the pre-litigation phase starts almost directly after the accident happens. During the pre-litigation stage, you should focus on your physical health and document every loss you experience. These steps could help you secure a reasonable pre-litigation settlement agreement that expedites your case. In almost every personal injury situation, a settlement is reached without having to go to trial. Having a solid lawyer during the pre-litigation phase is crucial, though, because you want to make sure your rights and interests are upheld during the negotiations.

Key Pre-Litigation Actions

Your personal injury litigation checklist begins far before you file your official claim paperwork. Pre-trial litigation starts when you experience the accident and report it. As soon as you take these steps, you’re securing what will later become evidence in your case. An official accident report will help prove what happened. Next, you’ll get the care you need while documenting all your losses.

Once you do file your case, the other party will receive a pre-litigation subpoena that informs them about the lawsuit. This launches the pre-litigation discovery phase, where the other party will seek out evidence that backs up your claims. If you present that quickly, then the other party will be more likely to settle faster.

What Happens in the Pre-Litigation Process?

Most pre-trial actions involve significant research, document collection, and investigation. During the pre-litigation process, you’ll do most of the work needed to get the injury compensation you’re entitled to.

How Long Does Pre-Litigation Take?

The average lawsuit filing process takes anywhere from a few months to two years. The litigation steps are much less in-depth than the pre-litigation phase, but it can take a longer time. In general, more complex injury claims are going to take a lot longer to fully resolve.

Transitioning from Pre-Litigation to Litigation

Trial preparation should be an important pre-litigation consideration, but some personal injury lawyers assume that the case will be resolved during the negotiation process. If you hire a lawyer who isn’t prepared to transition from pre-litigation to litigation, then the process can drag on. The right lawyer will make sure that you have all the proper documentation and evidence in place to be prepared to transition smoothly and have your day in court without much more difficulty.

Avoiding Common Pre-Litigation Mistakes

The best legal advice you can take to avoid the most common trail preparation mistakes is to do your due diligence in the pre-litigation phase. When you invest in evidence gathering, getting the right medical documentation, and facilitating all insurance correspondence in a way that maximizes your rights, you’re sure to maximize your claim in the long run.

Are You Ready to Get in Touch with a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Are you considering filing a personal injury lawsuit after experiencing an accident that was caused by someone else? If you believe that the other party had a legal duty to provide for your care and failed to do so, then you might have the legal basis to file for compensation.

The right personal injury attorney will help you determine your best course of action after listening to you describe the details of your accident and injury. They’ll assist you throughout all the pre-litigation and litigation aspects of your claim. Here at Kermani LLP, our team has over 13+ years of experience navigating both the pre-litigation and litigation phases of personal injury claims. We know what it takes to be successful, and we can deliver the results you’re after.

Are you ready to work with us and get started? Schedule a case evaluation with our team now.

May 29, 2024

Ray Kermani
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