How Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Work?

How Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Work?

When an individual is injured due to the negligence of another, they may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. You may wonder how a personal injury lawsuit works. Here’s a general overview of the process.

1. Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

First, you’ll need to meet with an experienced personal injury attorney. They will look at the details of your case and determine if you have a valid claim. If they decide to take on your case, they will gather evidence and build a strong argument on your behalf.

2. File A Lawsuit in Civil Court

If your attorney decides to move forward with your case, they will file a lawsuit in civil court. The complaint will detail the injuries you’ve sustained and request damages. That is where the discovery process begins. During this phase, both sides will exchange information and conduct depositions.

3. The Responsible Party Will Have an Opportunity To Respond

Once the complaint has been filed, the responsible party will be allowed to respond. That usually takes the form of a written answer, in which the defendant must set forth their defenses to the plaintiff’s claims. If the defendant does not file an answer, or if their answer is deemed insufficient, the court may enter a default judgment against them.

4. Both Sides Will Gather Evidence and Conduct Discovery

Once an answer has been filed, the parties will discover and gather evidence and information related to the case. That is done through depositions, interrogatories, and requests to produce documents. This process can be lengthy and complex, as both sides investigate the facts of the case and determine who is liable. After discovery is complete, the parties will typically attempt to settle out of court. If they cannot do so, the case will go to trial.

5. Go to Trial

If the responsible party denies responsibility, your case will likely go to trial. During the trial, both sides present evidence and argue their case before a judge or jury. The jury will then deliberate and reach a verdict. If the verdict favors the injured person, they will be awarded damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering.

6. The Appeals Process

If either side is unhappy with the trial’s outcome, they can file an appeal. That must be done within a certain time frame, typically 30 days. The appeals process can be lengthy and complicated, so it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side. Be aware that the appeals process can be costly, and there is no guarantee that you will win your case. If you do win your appeal, the court may order a new trial or review the number of damages you are awarded.

While every case is different, this is generally how personal injury law works. If you’ve sustained injuries due to someone’s negligence, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case. They will review the facts of your case and determine if you have a valid claim. If they decide to take on your case, they will file a lawsuit on your behalf and guide you through the process.