What’s Involved in Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Personal Injury Lawyer

You’ve been injured in an accident and have decided a personal injury lawsuit is what you should pursue. What’s your next step? While you may not know what to do next, your lawyer will know, so it’s important you get in touch with someone as soon as possible. Filing a lawsuit isn’t hard, but your lawyer can walk you through it to make sure you have covered all your bases. The following are some steps involved.

Preparing the Complaint and Summons

The first thing you’ll do is prepare a complaint against the other party. This gives factual information about why you are filing the lawsuit and what you expect to gain from it. You’ll first identify all parties in the case and details about the injury you received. Next, you’ll explain why the court should hear your case, including legal theories that back up the allegations you’re making. Finally, you’ll outline the damages you’re seeking from the defendant. You’ll also need to sign the document.

Not every jurisdiction requires a summons, but many do, so you’ll need to prepare that as well. This document is simpler than the complaint, and identifies both parties and the reason you’re suing the defendant. Filing both the complaint and summons will require a filing fee.

Serving the Defendant

It’s your responsibility to make sure the defendant is “served” a copy of the complaint and summons. Service of process is complete as soon as the defendant has the papers in hand. Most any adult can serve the papers, but it’s often the safest route to hire a professional server to do the job. You should receive proof of delivery by the individual who serves the papers so you can show the court the defendant received them.

Completing the Job On Time

Each state has a statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, and it varies by state. It’s important you understand what the statute is in your state so you file your lawsuit on time. If you miss the deadline, there’s a chance you won’t be able to recover any amount for your injuries. There are some exceptions, however, so be sure to discuss your situation in depth with an attorney.

Waiting for the Response

After you have done your part to file a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll wait for a response from the defendant and move forward from there. For help in getting through the process, set up a consultation with a personal injury lawyer, like the offices of Johnston | Martineau PLLP, get answers to questions about your case. 

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