Birth Injury Attorney

If you are seeking legal damages for a birth injury case, you should know the basic process for litigation. This article will outline the basic steps in litigation, but your birth injury attorney can clarify the process and apprise you of any differences in the process in the jurisdiction where the suit is filed.

After the defendants have been identified, your birth injury attorney will write up a complaint. It will describe facts supporting the action and how each cause of action is satisfied by the facts of the lawsuit. Your lawyer will also prepare a summons or formal notice to the defendant to appear in court.

Your birth injury attorney will file these documents with the trial court and pay the filing fee (which you’ll be billed for). Depending on the case, your attorney may file a “jury demand” stating that the plaintiff wants the case to be tried by a jury and legal damages assessed.

Defendants will be served with the complaint and summons by a process server, certified mail, or a registered agent for the business where he or she works. In the unlikely event that a defendant cannot be located, your birth injury attorney may ask the court to allow “substituted service,” which is posting the complaint at the defendant’s last known address as well as in a local newspaper.

Once the defendant answers the complaint, the next step in the process is discovery. This is the phase where each party can request documents and other evidence, using subpoenas if necessary. A birth injury attorney may ask for documents and depositions. Any relevant material except for privileged information can be involved in the discovery process.

Birth Injury AttorneyMost civil cases in America are settled after discovery. Usually, after discovery, both sides realize the relative strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case. If so, your birth injury attorney will try to reach a settlement to avoid the expense and risks of going to trial, and will try to get the plaintiff to agree to legal damages.

If there is no agreement after the discovery process, your birth injury attorney will request a pre-trial conference to be held before the trial judge. The pre-trial conference will hopefully speed up the disposition of your case by discouraging wasteful pre-trial actions, and will renew the possibility that the case will be settled out of court.

If, however, your case goes to trial, your birth injury attorney and the attorney for the defendants will present witnesses and submit evidence. At the end of all the arguments, a judge or a jury will consider the evidence and decide the case. Usually it is up to the plaintiff to produce enough evidence to persuade the judge or jury that his claim should prevail.

There is a reasonable chance that the trial may be terminated before going to a judge or jury. If your birth injury attorney can persuade the judge with legal argument and evidence that the defendants could not win and there is no sense continuing, the judge may end the trial. This is known as a motion for summary judgment.

After the trial, if your side wins, the court may order the defendants to pay legal damages to you. If the other side appeals the verdict, you won’t be allowed to collect any damages or take any actions until the appeal period is over. Your birth injury attorney will inform you on how much time the defendant has to file an appeal.

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