What Happens During a Personal Injury Lawsuit

When someone is injured in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another person or party, then the injured person— the plaintiff— has the right to file a personal injury claim against the person who caused their injury— the defendant— in order to get the compensation they need to cover the expenses caused by the accident. The plaintiff needs to hire a personal injury attorney to help them gather the necessary evidence, calculate all of their expenses, and file the injury claim.

Another important thing that the lawyer can do is negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company to make sure that they offer a fair settlement. If the insurance company refuses to do so, then the plaintiff may have to sue the defendant. This is a last resort because it could lead to a trial, which no one wants because it can be expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, according to legal experts like lawyers Fasig and Brooks, most personal injury lawsuits get settled before a trial becomes necessary.

Attorney Consultation

If you are going to file a lawsuit, then you are going to need an attorney. Personal injury lawyers will give you a free consultation where they evaluate your case and discuss their fee payments. Personal injury lawyers tend to work on a contingency basis, meaning that they do not get paid unless they win the case, at which point they get a percentage of the settlement amount. Once the attorney decides to take your case, they will help you through the rest of the lawsuit process.

Court Document Filing

Once you have decided to proceed with the lawsuit, your attorney will file all of the necessary documents, including a complaint against the defendant. The complaint will list you as the plaintiff and the person who caused your personal injury as the defendant. It will also have the details of the accident and the injuries it caused, the legal reasons for why the defendant should be held liable, and the damages that you need to get. Once the complaint is filed, the defendant will have to file an answer to it.


After the court documents have been filed, this stage begins. Discovery is where the attorneys representing each party exchange the evidence they have gathered. The attorneys will send each other a list of interrogatories— which are just questions— and a request for documents. During this phase, the lawyers may also take sworn statements and depositions. Your lawyer might also consult with various experts, such as medical professionals or accident reconstruction specialists to help your case.

Pretrial Motions

The lawyers will file these motions on behalf of their clients in order to help their case. These motions can be used to force one side to provide evidence or even to resolve the case before a trial becomes necessary.

Settlement Negotiation

Since a trial is an undesirable outcome, both sides will try to resolve the case before a trial becomes necessary. They will try to resolve the case by negotiating a settlement amount that both parties can agree on. Sometimes they will negotiate via mediation, which is an informal process presided over by a neutral third party. The mediator will try to get both parties to reach a resolution so that they do not have to go to trial.

The Trial

If the case cannot be resolved, then it will go to a trial. During the trial, the jury will decide if the defendant is guilty, as well as the amount of damages the plaintiff should be awarded. If either party is unsatisfied with the outcome, then they can file an appeal. However, as stated before, most personal injury cases get resolved before a trial becomes necessary.

Interesting Related Article: “How to Pick the Right Personal Injury Lawyer