What is the plaintiff’s role in the litigation process?
New clients ask me that all the time. What is their involvement going to consist of? I tell them there are a couple general rules to keep in mind.
First of all, you’ve got to keep in touch with us. We can’t do a great job on your case if we don’t have your help. Secondly, if you’re still treating for your accident or injuries, please make sure to follow your doctor’s advice–follow their treatment recommendations–because there’s nothing we can do to finally resolve your case until you’re medically stable.
In terms of the formalities of litigation, your role (among other things) as a plaintiff will be to assist us in answering written questions. You’ll work with our paralegal assistants to provide personal information (specific information) about the case. You’ll produce documents. If you have a wage loss claim we’ll need some check stubs or W2s for example.
Further on down the road you’ll give a deposition. What that is is basically a question and answer session. I’ll be there and the lawyer from the other side will ask you questions (under oath) about your accident, about your injuries, and how they’ve affected your life.
The next step would be normally to attend a mediation process. Which is where both sides agree to hire a neutral party to help them resolve the case prior to trial.
Next, there would be a trial if your case hasn’t settled up to that point. That’s a little more involved, but in short, it’s what you’ve seen in movies and TV. You’d be on the stand answering questions in front of a judge and jury. Of course, we would do everything to prepare you for that.
But mostly, you work with us, you listen to us, and we listen to you. That’s the best way for you to have the best outcome.