Filing a product liability lawsuit without a lawyer involves performing extensive research into your accident, determining who is at fault, calculating your losses, collecting evidence to support your case, negotiating with insurance companies, and preparing to go to court if it becomes necessary.
The personal injury claim process may be extremely challenging without a lawyer. Understanding the process can go a long way in helping you figure out how to get started pursuing compensation from a negligent party. Here are the steps you will need to take to pursue compensation from a negligent manufacturer:
Steps in the Civil Court Process
The civil court process is outlined in the Tennessee State Court’s Rules of Civil Procedure, but the basic steps are described for you below.
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Step 1: Research Your Accident
Before you can file a lawsuit, you need to know who to file it against. You need to figure out what brought about your accident and who was responsible. With a defective product injury, you should be able to find out who manufactured the product. You will then need to gather evidence that proves the product was defective. You also need to prove that it was the defect that caused you to be hurt and not some other factor.
For example, if you were injured due to a tire defect, you may need to provide physical evidence, photo evidence, video evidence, statements from witnesses, a police accident report, or other types of evidence to prove your case. You can also use evidence to prove the severity of your injuries and how much loss you suffered as a result of your accident.
Step 2: Build Your Case
After step one is complete, you should have all the information you need to begin building your case. You can file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance policy, or you can file a lawsuit in court, depending on the circumstances of your case.
You need to fill out the appropriate paperwork and include your evidence and other documentation with the paperwork. If you are filing a claim, a demand letter is usually included. This is where you tell the defendant and their insurance company how much your losses were and how much money you expect in compensation for what happened to you.
Step 3: Insurance Negotiation Process
If you choose to attempt to settle your case out of court, then the insurance negotiation process will be a big aspect of your case. This is where you have to deal directly with insurance claims adjusters. They will look at every detail of your case to see if they agree that you are owed compensation for your injury.
This process can be lengthy and frustrating, as the insurer does not want to pay and will look for any excuse not to. It is possible for insurers to deny claims based on technicalities rather than an honest belief that you do not have a just case against the insured.
If the process works out, you could receive a settlement check from the insurance company. The money should account for all of the losses you sustained due to your accident and injuries, such as lost wages, physical pain, mental trauma, medical bills, scarring, disfigurement, permanent injury, cost of physical therapy, lost life enjoyment, and other losses. Keep in mind, though, that once you accept a settlement, you cannot go back and request more money later if your injuries become worse or you incur additional losses. This is why it may be important to have the assistance of a lawyer while calculating your current and potential losses. They may be able to ensure you do not overlook or undervalue any of your damages.
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Step 4: Going to Court
If you are unable to reach an acceptable insurance settlement, you may choose to file a lawsuit in court, which can lengthen the process quite a bit. You will have to wait for hearings and a trial date. Once you get your day in court, you will have to present your case to the jury and/or judge. You need to use all of your evidence to convince the court that you were hurt and are owed compensation for the harm you experienced.
The court process can be intimidating, which is why a lot of people choose to partner with a lawyer. A lawyer knows the laws and has the resources to win a case in court, and is not afraid to stand up to a large manufacturing company’s large insurance company.
Get Legal Help from The Cochran Firm – Nashville
If you wish to file a lawsuit without a lawyer, you must follow the steps outlined above and put in some serious effort. There is no question that filing a lawsuit without a lawyer is a difficult endeavor. Fortunately, you do not have to go through this legal process alone if you do not want to. A lawyer at our firm may be able to help you with your case and take over most of the work for you.
Keep in mind that there are time limits on filing lawsuits in Tennessee, known as the statutes of limitations. You may have as little as one year from the date of your injuries to bring a case in court against a negligent manufacturer, according to TN Code § 28-3-104. Call The Cochran Firm – Nashville at (615) 651-7451 for more information about how we may be able to help. Get your free case evaluation today.