personal injury lawsuit process

A Timeline of the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process

personal injury lawsuit processDid you know that civil court filings, such as those for personal injuries, are on the decline?

This might sound like good news. However, many people still getting hurt and considering filing a lawsuit.

Any legal process can be challenging. Dealing with an injury can be especially emotionally draining, not to mention physically exhausting.

Are you looking to file for damages, but are unsure about the personal injury lawsuit process? Keep reading to find out what you should do next.

Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney

Step one when you are thinking about filing a personal injury case? Talking with a lawyer.

States have different laws pertaining to personal injury cases, so seek out an experienced lawyer specifically in your area.

A personal injury lawyer will speak with you and ask questions to gather pertinent information. This will help them weigh the facts of the case. Then, they can decide how it applies to state or federal laws.

In the vast majority of situations, this initial consultation does not cost you anything. For example, DeSalvo Law offers free consultations in-person or by phone. They will make to get adequate information to best assist you.

Filing a Complaint in the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process

After speaking with a lawyer, you can decide to either move forward with or drop the lawsuit. If you move forward, you will file the lawsuit yourself, not the lawyer.

Many personal injury complaints are filed in state courts. However, some could be filed in a federal court.

Discovery Process

Once the personal injury complaint is filed, your lawyer will start the discovery process. This is where you and your lawyer find out any relevant information regarding the case.

Sometimes, this means asking other involved parties to turn over documents and asking people questions. The party you are suing will also be asking for information. This will almost certainly include your medical records for the injury.


Once both parties have gathered information, negotiations will begin. These are talks meant to end the lawsuit before having to go to trial. The party you are suing may offer you money to settle the case.

If both parties agree, you drop the lawsuit and the case ends. If an agreement cannot be reached, the case will proceed to trial.

If the Case Goes to Trial

During a trial, each side will present their case. Plaintiffs (the one who filed the lawsuit) have the burden of proof. This means they will have to present evidence that the other party is liable. A judge or jury will make the final decision.

A personal injury trial can last a day or a few weeks. It could even take longer.

Winning the Case

Winning a personal injury lawsuit is the goal, but receiving payment can be difficult. It often requires a process called collections.

Possible Appeals

Either party can file an appeal. This means asking for a review of the decision. This can mean the case will go for a retrial.

Final Notes

Now you are familiar with the timeline for a personal injury lawsuit process. Do you still have some questions? Contact us, and we would love to help you clarify any issues.