The overwhelming majority of personal injury claims never reach the trial stage. In fact, some researchers estimate that more than 95 percent of personal injury cases are settled without litigation. Even if you have already hired a Rockford, Illinois personal injury lawyer and filed a lawsuit against the defendant, there is still chance you can settle your case.
To move your personal injury case towards a full and fair settlement, it is crucial to handle your lawsuit in the proper manner. There are many different steps in the legal process that come between the filing of a lawsuit and the case actually going to trial. You should work with an Illinois personal injury attorney who has a comprehensive understanding of all conferences and motions that could be relevant in your case.
Motions and conferences in Illinois personal injury lawsuits
Once you are able to file your complaint, either by yourself or your lawyer, there will still be several more steps in the personal injury claims process. Some examples of motions and conferences that often occur in Illinois personal injury lawsuit include:
Scheduling Conference: Relatively early in the case, there will likely be a scheduling conference. This is a logistical conference during which the involved parties will establish a basic timeline for the case.
Discovery Conference: Through a legal process known as ‘discovery’ plaintiffs have the right to access evidence and information which the defendant may be holding. Discovery can help you build a strong foundation for your personal injury claim. It is important that you work with a lawyer who is skilled in discovery.
Pretrial Conferences: The pretrial conference is an important conference. During it, the judge will generally try to narrow the scope of the issues at stake in the case. In addition, they might give some indication of how the court will rule on certain key issues. Many personal injury claims are settled immediately before or immediately after the pretrial conference.
Motions for Summary Judgment: The opposing side of the lawsuit will likely file for a summary judgment when there are no facts in dispute and the only relevant issue is a matter of law.
Motions to Compel: If you believe that the defendant is holding back evidence in your case, you may be able to compel production.
Motion in Limine: Your legal counsel will use this motion to keep certain evidence out of the courtroom. Your personal injury lawyer may need to file this motion if the defendant is attempting to include evidence against you that is inappropriate.
Settlement is always possible: injured victims deserve compensation
Even as your claim moves deeper in the legal process, there is always the possibility that both parties involved in the lawsuit can still reach a settlement before going to trial. Unfortunately, defendants and insurance companies will often drag on the claims process far longer than is truly necessary. They may not offer a settlement that is fair until relatively late in the claims process.
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