How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Filing a personal injury lawsuit can be a challenging process, particularly if you do not have much legal experience. If you or a loved one sustain an injury caused by another party’s actions, then you may need to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses. Here, we want to discuss the steps you will need to take to file a personal injury lawsuit, and we strongly encourage you to speak to a skilled personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Speak to an Attorney to Start With
When starting your injury claim, it is important to speak to a skilled personal injury lawyer in California first. These claims can become incredibly complicated, and it would be good to receive a free consultation to have an idea of where your case should go. If you choose to work with an attorney, you will have an advocate by your side with the resources necessary to handle every aspect of the claim. They will investigate the incident, gather the evidence you need to prove liability, and handle all communication with other parties involved.
Will Your Claim be Resolved Through an Insurance Settlement?
Most injury claims in California are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers. When this happens, this means the case will not result in a lawsuit being filed at all. There are various benefits to resolving a claim in this way. First, lawsuits are expensive, and they can be time-consuming. When a case is resolved through a settlement with an insurance carrier, resolution will typically happen much faster, and you will not have to go to court.
However, if the insurance carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement or denies the claim, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit in California’s civil court system.
Filing the Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you have not spoken to a lawyer by the time it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible. Filing a lawsuit properly is a complex process, and you really should have an experienced attorney by your side.
An attorney can file the lawsuit in civil court, which will initiate the discovery process. This means that both sides (the plaintiff and the defendant) will continue to gather evidence, and they will exchange this evidence with one another. During the discovery process, it may be necessary to take depositions of any witnesses involved in the case, including you. It is important to properly prepare for a deposition, and an attorney will help you do this.
While the discovery process is ongoing, it is likely that both sides will continue to negotiate at some point, especially as they receive new information related to the claim. One side may see the benefit of either settling the case or dropping the claim altogether.
Going to Court
In the event a case is not resolved through negotiations with attorneys for both sides, it will likely be necessary to move forward with a jury trial. Jury trials are complex processes, and it is crucial to have an attorney with you when this happens. Your lawyer will have prepared for a trial, and they will present the evidence to the jury. A jury will be responsible for determining whether or not the defendant likely caused your injuries, and they will be responsible for awarding compensation.