There are only three main events in a lawsuit in which you would have to physically participate. However, it is important to note that only a very small percentage of cases ever go to trial. So in all likelihood, your case will be resolved without a trial at a courthouse.
The events you will therefore actually likely participate in are:
a. Examination for Discovery: This is an interview conducted by the lawyers for the defendants. It is done under oath and is audio-recorded. You will be prepared and accompanied to the event by your lawyer from Beckett’s London office. It is a rather informal process and often an easier process than people expect. All parties of the lawsuit have to be interviewed, so this stage helps us learn about the defendants and if your injury or abuse could have been prevented.
b. Medical Assessment: This step does not occur in every case but if it is necessary to have your medical condition detailed by a specialist, we will hire a doctor to examine you and write a report. This is typically a doctor in a specialty related to your injury. The defendant in your case also has the right to hire their own doctor to give a responding report, so you may end up having two or more medical assessments. The assessors are medical professionals and the assessment is typically much less difficult than people expect. Our personal injury lawyers are experienced in helping you to prepare for this process so that you are as comfortable as possible.
c. Mediation/Pre-Trial: A mediation is a formal negotiation. A neutral individual is hired to oversee and assist with a day-long negotiation. Mediations typically happen near the end of the case and often resolve it. The mediation is meant for you to hear what is being offered to you and provide insight to your lawyer. Mediations can be positive experiences, not only because they often resolve the case but also because the defendant may offer apologies and admissions. If mediation is unsuccessful, a similar but shorter process will take place with a judge, which is called a pre-trial. Pre-trials typically take place a few months before a trial date and are an opportunity to hear what a judge thinks of the case.