How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. You can either settle outside of court or go to trial and let a jury decide your compensation. The latter option is called filing a lawsuit. The process is complex, but an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate it and get the compensation you deserve.

The type of lawsuit File a lawsuit for personal injury claims you file depends on the accident and injuries that occurred. For example, if you were injured in a car accident, you would file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If your injuries were the result of a defective product, you would file a products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer.

Regardless of the type of lawsuit, your attorney must prove that you’ve suffered damages as a result of another person’s actions. The most common types of damages include economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are the direct financial costs you’ve experienced, such as medical bills, lost wages and property damage. Noneconomic damages are more subjective and don’t have a dollar value, but they include the pain and suffering you experience from your injuries.

You must also prove that the defendant is responsible for your injuries and losses, and that you’ve met the necessary elements to obtain a judgment in your favor. This typically requires a variety of evidence, such as police reports, witness testimony, photos and security or surveillance video.

Finally, you must make a timely claim and meet your state’s deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations, and it’s important to follow it so your case can proceed through the legal system.

In most cases, the plaintiff files a lawsuit in the state where the accident or incident that caused the injuries happened. This makes sense because it’s where witnesses (eyewitnesses, law enforcement officers and others) live and where you were treated for your injuries.

Once your attorney files the lawsuit, the defendant must answer it by filing a responsive complaint. This usually takes place within 30 days of the date your attorney served the summons and complaint on the defendant. The parties then enter a fact-finding phase of the lawsuit, which can take weeks or months and accounts for most of the time in a personal injury lawsuit.

The next step is discovery, which includes the exchange of relevant information from each side through a series of questions and requests. Common legal tools used in discovery include Bill of Particulars, Requests for Admissions, Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents. It may also involve taking depositions, which are statements you make under oath in front of a court reporter.

Finally, the judge issues a final judgment in your favor, and you receive your compensation from the defendant. If you’re struggling to reach a settlement with the insurance company for your accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney.