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What Are Steps in Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Anyone can sustain an injury in various circumstances, such as car accidents, riding a horse, swimming in a pool, and even smoking an e-cigarette. When such situations happen, you usually think of how it is possible to receive compensation for such injuries. Some scenarios can also lead to the criminal responsibility of the defendant. However, it is essential to get compensation for your recovery expenses rather than see the defendant behind bars.

To have a successful claim and receive as much compensation as possible, you shall imagine the lawsuit process and be ready for it. There are several steps you shall undertake after sustaining injury. Let’s examine those steps and the lawsuit process as a whole.

Is Collection Of Evidence a Key Factor When Filing a Lawsuit?

To prove a certain size of damages and seek the compensation you shall be able to prove the link between the actions of the defendant and your injury. Collecting evidence immediately after the injury happened is a key to success in the process.

What are the Required Actions for Collecting Evidence?

Fixed evidence in the place where the accident happened. This can be done by taking pictures of the place of the accident, and collecting details of witnesses if there were any. If there was a car accident, it is essential to maintain the evidentiary value of the car.

Go to a Hospital

Receiving medical treatment as soon as possible is not only good for your health and quick recovery of damages. This is also essential for documentation of your visit, professional assessment of your health conditions, and stating that the accident is the cause of your injuries.

Report the accident as soon as possible

The reports immediately after the accident happens, have a big value in your evidence set.

What Other Information is Important?

Statute of limitations

In addition, don’t forget that you have limited time to file a lawsuit. The terms of a statute of limitations differ based on the type of accident, however, the general term is two years. If you don’t react actively and undertake the necessary steps, you’ll not be able to further recover from your damages.

Sending a Demand Letter

You do not immediately go to court if you sustain injury. Sometimes it is possible to receive compensation even after filing a lawsuit. For this reason, you can file a demand letter to the liable party or the insurance company asking for compensation for your damages. If you are denied, you are free to file a lawsuit with the court.

What Is Legal Standing?

Without having legal standing, you’ll not be able to file a lawsuit. You have legal standing when:

  • Accident is the cause of your injury,
  • Have legal status,
  • Have a legal capacity (are mentally competent and over the age of 18).  However, if this point is not satisfied, you can file a lawsuit with a representative, acting on your behalf.

What Is The Amount of The Claim That Determines Where To File a Lawsuit?

Particularly, if the amount of your claim:

  • Falls below 10.000$, you shall file the lawsuit in small claim courts,
  • Exceeds 10.000$, you shall file your claim in California civil court.

What Can Happen When Filing a Lawsuit?

The lawsuit is a formal claim for damages that states your intent to recover compensation from the defendant who is at fault for the accident. The lawsuit contains evidence of such fault and the direct link with your injuries. There is a legal obligation to respond to your claim.

In case the defendant does not respond to your claim, the court decides if the defendant is accepting his fault for causing damages. In this case, the court will automatically hold the judgment in favor of you.

What Is Stage Of Discovery?

The Discovery stages of proceedings allow the parties to gather relevant evidence and information from each other. Depositions are utilized which be used in combination with the first findings gathered.

Can The Case End Earlier Through Negotiations?

Most of the cases end before going to trial. Parties are more interested in ending the case sooner without further trial. A fair settlement is a usual solution to injury cases. However, sometimes you will not be satisfied with the offer and decide to continue the process. In this case, just note that more time (approximately more than one year) and expenses will be spent on the settlement of your injury case. If you or your loved one wants to file a personal injury lawsuit, we invite you to contact KAASS Law at (310) 943-1171 for a free consultation on your case and further assistance.


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