What to Expect During a Lawsuit
The legal process can seem confusing and a little intimidating, so at Brown & Barron, we explain some of the common legal terminology and answer a few frequently asked questions. Here we discuss the litigation process and what to expect.
Once your lawsuit has been filed, there will be procedural steps, then your lawsuit will be filed in the Circuit Court for the county where the defendant lives or where incident happened (e.g., the nursing home where abuse occurred, or the hospital where a birth injury or medical malpractice situation occurred).
Once your case is filed, we will serve the Complaint on Defendants. After the defendants are served and they provide a written Answer to the Complaint in court, then the discovery process begins. Discovery is perhaps the most important part of the case, because this is where all of the evidence of the case is revealed to attorneys on both sides prior to trial. In TV and movies, important facts are discovered during the trial, and there are big surprises. But in reality, nearly all these facts are discussed before the trial, during the discovery process, and surprises should not happen (if attorneys are doing their jobs correctly). During the discovery process, you will have a few important roles. But do not worry. Your attorney will prepare you to make sure you know what to expect, and the attorney will walk you through each step.
The two main types of discovery are interrogatories and depositions.
Interrogatories are written questions given to you by the opposition. The interrogatories will ask who you are, what happened, and what were the effects of what happened to you or your loved one. These are usually written questions, and you will work with your attorney to respond in writing. Your answers are given under oath, which means you swear or affirm that the answers are truthful. This makes your answers officially sworn testimony that is admissible in court. (Your attorney will send similar questions for the Defendants on the other side to answer under oath.)
The other primary type of discovery is a deposition. A deposition is similar to interrogatories, except that instead of you answering written questions, you are asked questions in person by attorneys from the opposition with a court reporter recording your answers. It is common to have both interrogatories and a deposition. The deposition usually happens after the written interrogatories. Your attorneys will help prepare you so that you know what to expect and how to best present your side of the case. (Here again, your attorney will also be taking depositions of the Defendants on the other side.)
This discovery gives both sides needed information to decide the next steps, whether that is settlement or taking the case to trial. The duration of this entire process varies, but it’s typical for it to take about a year and half.
Our attorneys at Brown & Barron, LLC focus on representing the victims of nursing home abuse/neglect, birth injuries, and medical malpractice. We know first-hand how these facilities function, and just how vulnerable patients and residents are to injuries. If you believe you or a family member has suffered as a result of medical malpractice or nursing home negligence, we invite you to contact our team as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and options. To contact our team, call 410-213-3242 today for a consultation.
This site offers legal information, not legal advice. Although we do our best to provide helpful information about your options, your specific needs require specific legal advice, and for that you should consult an attorney.