Many personal injury cases in Chicago settle without going to court, while others require court intervention. These lawsuits can be complicated, and it is crucial to understand what goes on if you find yourself in such a situation.

Who is the plaintiff?

The plaintiff is the injured party or the person who has suffered damages due to an accident, like car accidents, work accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall, defective product, etc. There could be more than one plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit, for instance, when several people are injured in a truck accident.

Who is the defendant?

According to Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C/Chicago personal injury attorneys, a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit is the party who allegedly injured the plaintiff or the person who allegedly caused the accident. Like plaintiffs, there could be more than one defendant in a personal injury lawsuit. Common defendants include:

  • A product manufacturer in a matter involving a defective product.
  • A doctor, nurse, physician, or Healthcare facility in an issue of medical malpractice.
  • A driver, motorcyclist, or pedestrian in a traffic accident.
  • A landlord, property owner, or business owner in business liability cases.
  • In cases involving public transportation, car accidents, and slip and fall accidents, government agencies.
  • Dog owners, property owners, or tenants in dog bite cases.
  • Property owners, contractors, and subcontractors in construction cases.

Any party who directly or indirectly causes an accident that injures another person can be held liable and named the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit. The jury determines whether the defendant is responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries or damage and how much they should pay.

Who are third parties?

There could be third parties in a personal injury lawsuit. examples include:

  • An impleader- when the defendant sues another person as a third party.
  • Joinder- a person who joins the plaintiff because they have a right for compensation due to the same accident.
  • Intervention- a party with a statutory right to intervene in a personal injury lawsuit.
  • Interpleader- someone who believes they have a claim arising for a similar situation joins the lawsuit to compel other parties to litigate the case.

Steps after filing a personal injury claim

The defendant replies

After filing a personal injury claim, the defendant has a chance to reply. They may counter the claim, include affirmative defenses, or assert allegations of fault against you as the plaintiff. For instance, they may allege that you are partially to blame for the accident.

Discovery phase

Every party can request evidence from the opposing party. If one party refuses to participate, the other party may petition in court for an order to compel discovery.

Settlement negotiations

The parties may negotiate informally or through mediation to settle the case. If they disagree, the case goes to court.

Pretrial motions

Pretrial motions attempt to settle legal issues before the trial begins.

Trial and verdict

Each party presents their case during trial, and the jury decides who is liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. If either party is not satisfied, they may file an appeal.

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