Imagine that you were injured in an accident that was not your fault. Maybe you were hit by a car while crossing the street, or maybe you slipped and fell at a friend’s house. Whatever the circumstances, if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
In order to receive this compensation, you will need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can seem like a daunting task, but it is actually fairly simple if you follow these ten steps:
- Speak with a personal injury lawyer: In order to have the best chance at success with your personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to seek out legal counsel from an experienced attorney who specializes in this area of law.
- Investigate the accident and gather evidence: Your lawyer will likely conduct their own investigation into the accident, but it can be helpful for you to also do your own research and collect any available evidence, such as photos or videos of the scene, witness statements, etc.
- Determine who is at fault: In order for you to have a successful personal injury lawsuit, you will need to prove that the other party was at fault for the accident and your injuries.
- Calculate your damages: This includes both economic damages (such as medical bills) and noneconomic damages (such as pain and suffering).
- Send a demand letter: Once you have calculated your damages, your lawyer will draft and send a demand letter to the responsible party’s insurance company. This letter will outline your injuries and damages and explain why the insurance company should pay them.
- Negotiate with the insurance company: The insurance company may respond to your demand letter with their own settlement offer. If this happens, your lawyer will help you to negotiate a fair settlement.
- File a personal injury lawsuit: If the insurance company is unwilling to offer a fair settlement, then your next step will be to file a personal injury lawsuit in court.
- Serve the other party with the lawsuit: Once the lawsuit has been filed, the other party must be “served” with a copy of the complaint. This can be done by hand-delivering it to them or their lawyer, or by sending it via certified mail.
- Go through discovery: During discovery, each party will have an opportunity to obtain evidence from the other side. This may include exchanging documents and taking depositions (questioning witnesses under oath).
- Trial: If your case does not settle during discovery, then it will go to trial. At trial, a judge or jury will hear the evidence and decide whether the other party is responsible for your injuries and damages.
Now that you know the steps involved in filing a personal injury lawsuit, you can begin taking the necessary actions to protect your legal rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.