What Does Litigation Mean?
What is litigation? Contrary to what you may believe, litigation is not just another word for a filed “lawsuit”. Litigation is a term used to describe legal proceedings, following the filing of a lawsuit, between two parties to enforce or defend a legal right through a Court supervised process. When an accident happens and you hire an injury attorney a claim is filed with an insurance company and a settlement demand is presented at the conclusion of your treatment by your lawyers. Most injury cases settle during a phase of time following an incident and before the filing of a civil lawsuit called prelitigation. During this period of time, your lawyers follow your medical treatment, hire experts, investigate claims, interview witnesses and put together your case for presentation to the insurance company. This is a critical time period but it doesn’t ensure that your case will resolve without an actual lawsuit filed on your behalf against the defendants. If the case doesn’t resolve, you need to file a lawsuit, get a trial date, have a Judge assigned to the case, and get subpoena power through the court to obtain under oath examinations and documents.
The Elements of Personal Injury Litigation
There are five elements of litigation in a personal injury case, which are:
- Discovery – the process of collecting evidence to support your claim, exchanging documents and answering written questions under oath, taking depositions and oral examinations under oath, conducting hearing with the Court on disputed issues in your case
- Motions – if either party files a motion with the court, your case is in litigation. These motions can cover the admission or exclusion of evidence at trial as well as expanded damages to be sought at trial.
- Expert witnesses – experts who can testify to support your claim in court
- Preparation – meeting with witnesses and preparing them to testify
- Trial – evidence is presented to support your claim, and a judge or jury issues a final decision, ending litigation and ordering an award in the case
What is the Goal of Litigation?
No matter what type of case you’re dealing with, the goal of litigation is always to reach a mutually acceptable settlement that concludes litigation. Cases that mature into filed lawsuits can conclude in advance of trial through the use of mediation.
Whalen Hersh attorneys exclusively represent clients against large insurance companies and corporations in personal injury matters and have the court room experience that is crucial to properly represent you in high stakes litigation. When you need a skilled, sympathetic, capable lawyer with a proven track record of success who will fight for your best interests, contact us today. You can reach us in Denver at (720) 307-2666. Our offices are conveniently located in the Denver Tech Center at 7955 East Arapahoe Court, Suite 2375, Centennial, CO 80112. In Colorado Springs, you can find us at the Alamo Corporate Center, 102 S. Tejon Street, Suite 1100, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, or call us at (719) 644-7000 to learn more. At Whalen Hersh, we aren’t afraid to take on a big insurance company and fight for your right to receive fair compensation through high stakes litigation.