If you have been wronged in some way, you are faced with what to do next. You essentially have two options: proceed on your own, or hire a lawyer. If you decide to hire a lawyer, here is the way in which your case will typically proceed:
- Demand Letter-- An attorney will typically write some sort of demand letter to the person who wronged you, or will otherwise be in contact with those accountable for that person's wrongdoing. This may include employers or insurers.
- File Lawsuit-- Should the other party fail to make a sufficient offer, the next step will involve formally suing the party by filing a complaint in state or district court.
- Discovery-- Once the lawsuit is filed, your attorney can begin to request evidentiary documents relevant to your case, which are legally referred to as "discovery." In other words, the documents and other things that will help you discover evidence for your claim.
- Mediation or Alternative Dispute Resolution-- There are several different forms this step may take. Essentially, the parties appear in front of a mutually agreed upon independent 3rd party, and attempt to resolve the case.
- Settlement or Trial-- Over the course of several weeks or months, if your case did not settle during mediation, your attorney will proceed with the case as though it is headed to trial. You are very likely to settle before the case reaches trial. In some cases, however, your case may make it to trial, in which the final determination of your case will be decided.
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