Initial Consultation: You will meet with M. Avery Austin, III, a licensed attorney for a FREE, no-obligation case review. During the review, we will discuss your accident, injuries, case specifics and the legal options available. If you choose to proceed with hiring our firm, we will take immediate action on your case.
Initial Petition/Complaint: We will begin your personal injury lawsuit by filing a petition or complaint with the appropriate court. This filing will lay out the essential facts of your case, such as the events leading up to your injury and the damages you have suffered as a result. The filing will name you as the Plaintiff and the person, people, or parties alleged to be responsible for your injury as Defendants.
Service of Notice to the Appropriate Parties: Once the initial petition is filed, a copy of the complaint will be “served” to the defendant(s). The complaint will be physically delivered to the appropriate parties in a way that can be verified, ensuring a defendant cannot later say they were not aware of the lawsuit. If your lawsuit has multiple defendants, each defendant must be served individually even if they share a residence.
Defendant Response: Once they are served, the defendant will typically be allowed a few weeks to find legal representation before his or her first trial date. If the defendant is insured, and their insurance applies to the claim, the defendant will be required to notify the insurance company as soon as he or she becomes aware of the lawsuit. The insurance company will appoint a lawyer provided the defendant has not already hired one. The defendant will also have the opportunity to respond to the claims made in your initial petition in the form of a Defendant’s Response. If there is not an official response, you may be awarded a default judgment winning your claim immediately.
Pre-Trial and Settlement Negotiations: Once all the facts and evidence of your case are in place, your case will move to the pre-trial phase. During this time, your attorney will continue preparing your case for trial and developing a courtroom strategy. At the same time, they will negotiate with the defense and seek fair compensation in the form of a settlement or other trial alternative. It is during this phase that the vast majority of personal injury cases are resolved, either through a settlement agreement, arbitration, or entering into mediation.
Trial and Verdict: In the event that a settlement offer is not agreed to, your case will move onto a trial. This can be a judge trial or a jury trial. A trial can be intimidating, but our courtroom experience will secure the most favorable verdict on your behalf. From the inception of your case, we will actively prepare your claim for the courtroom so you are in the best possible position to win your case.