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Auto Accident 10.16.2021

What Are The Basic Stages oF A Michigan Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Personal injury lawyer Joseph Dedvukaj has handled thousands of Michigan injury claims. Many victims are not familiar with the typical stages of a personal injury claim. Here are some of the basic stages of a Michigan personal injury lawsuit:

1. Personal Injury Lawsuit Investigation

A personal injury lawsuit typically involves investigating the claim before the lawsuit is filed. The investigation my include interviewing witnesses, gathering medical records, and obtaining police or government agency investigative report.

2. Presuit Settlement Option

In many cases, the claim can be resolved pre-suit, without filing a personal injury lawsuit. The presuit settlement option may be beneficial because costs can be saved, and the injured party obtains compensation without prolonged litigation. The personal injury lawyer will send a demand letter with the documentation for the claim to the at fault party’s insurance company to negotiate a settlement.

3. Filing A Personal Injury Lawsuit

If your lawyer is unable to settle your claim pre-suit, then a lawsuit known as “complaint” is filed in court to pursue compensation from the at fault party. The complaint filed sets forth your claim and damages. The complaint will be served on the at fault party by a process server. The at-fault party’s insurance will hire a law firm to represent the at fault party. The at fault party’s lawyer will file a formal answer to the Complaint and identify any defenses. Usually, the at fault party’s insurance company will file an answer and pay your damages if you settle or win.

4.  Discovery

After the initial pleadings complaint and answer to the complaint are filed, the next stage is typically called discovery, where each party to the lawsuit is entitled to perform formal investigation into the facts of the case. This may include answering interrogatories (written questions), sending a request to admit, or request production of documents, subpoenas witnesses or records from doctors or businesses having relevant information about your case. You may be required to undergo noninvasive medical examinations.

5. Case Evaluation Process

Almost every civil case in Michigan goes through the case evaluation process. A case evaluation is a process where their independent lawyers will evaluate your case and make a recommendation for settlement. You will have the option to accept or reject the settlement award. The other party will also have the option to accept or reject the case evaluation award. If both parties accept, the case will settle for the recommended case evaluation award. If either party rejects, the case will usually go back to the presiding judge for a settlement or status conference. If you reject the case evaluation award, you can have sanctions levied against you, depending on the results of the trial.

6. Mediation

If case evaluation has failed to settle the case, the parties can agree to mediation, or the Court may order the parties to mediation. A neutral mediator helps the parties facilitate a settlement. In Michigan, the Court Rules define mediation as a "process in which a neutral third party facilitates communication between parties, assists in identifying issue, and helps explore solutions to promote a mutually acceptable settlement." (“Ch. 19 Alternative Dispute Resolution - Environmental Law Section - State Bar of Michigan”) MCR 2.411(A)(2). A mediator cannot force you to settle and does not have any decision-making authority.

7. Trial

If the case is not settled, the judge will set the case for trial. If any party made a jury demand then the case will go to jury trial. If nobody filed a jury demand then the case will be decided by a judge during a bench trial. At trial, your lawyer will call witness and present admissible evidence to prove your case. The lawyers will prepare proposed jury instructions, file motions in limine to exclude or limit evidence, present expert witnesses, and submit a proposed jury verdict form. After presentation of the case to the jury or judge, the jury will render a verdict in your case.


Joseph Dedvukaj has handled thousands of personal injury and accident cases throughout Michigan. Call for a free case evaluation at 248-352-2110 or toll free at 1-866-447-3563. You can complete the online contact form to start your free consultation today.  

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No Fees Unless We Win
The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm, P.C represents Michigan clients in a full range of personal injury matters. If you have been injured, contact us for a free consultation.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a client relationship.
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