Legal Guide

The Procedures of a Personal Injury Lawsuit: Setting Realistic Expectations

Personal injury covers many cases in the United States, from slips and falls to car accidents. If you have suffered a personal injury and want to file a claim, it is within your rights.

Meanwhile, you may wonder what to expect as the case unfolds and what happens during the lawsuit. Keep reading this blog to see the likely proceedings of your case as you seek compensation for personal injury.

Identifying the Liable Party

As your claim starts, the first act is identifying the party responsible for the damage you suffered. Then, you will gather sufficient evidence to prove the damages exist and how they came about. Considering you may not be in the right frame of mind to do this, hiring a lawyer will be in your best interest.

A personal injury law firm or lawyer can build your case, reviewing the evidence and determining if you have a case. If you do, they will explain the next steps to ensure your claim is successful.

Official Complaint Filing

The second step is to officially file a formal complaint outlining all the details of your lawsuit. The complaint is a formal document that must name the defendant and explain the injury that occurred. Also, it must explain why you have named the defendant and tied them to the injury.

Furthermore, the document must contain a comprehensive breakdown of the damages you want to claim with supporting documents. Once the complaint is ready, you will file it in court, and the defendant will be formally served. Serving the defendant the complaint allows them to react or respond to the claims.

That can mean accepting responsibility for the accident, denying their part, or requesting a trial. They can also accept partial liability, meaning they only accept responsibility for some damages.


The next stage is civil negotiations, where parties discuss a settlement. As both parties try to devise a solution that works for everyone, there may be much back and forth.

On the one hand, the plaintiff wants to pursue the negotiations to mitigate their legal expenses and receive compensation faster. On the other hand, the defendant seeks a settlement because it also helps decrease some of their expenses. As such, most personal injury cases get resolved without the intervention of a judge or jury.


If the case goes to trial, the parties involved in the lawsuit will begin with the discovery process. This means they will exchange all the materials they will use during the trial, including their evidence, statements, and documentation. The discovery process levels the playing field, ensuring zero unfair surprises during the trial.

Meanwhile, this stage can take weeks to months, depending on the complexity of the claim. The attorneys (plaintiffs and the defendants) will review the materials to build their case for the trial.

After the discovery, the litigation process starts, where parties depose key players and necessary witnesses. The court proceedings will start with each participant testifying that the recorded testimony is true, accurate, and entire.

Conclusion: Compensation

According to Personal Injury Attorney Rob Melchiorre of Keller Melchiorre & Walsh, PLLC, “as litigation ends, the judge or jury will give their judgment after evaluating the testimony and evidence in the case. Then, they will decide who is liable for all the damages claimed in the personal injury case.” Usually, the judge will allocate the compensation, while the jury may not award you – or award you less than needed. Overall, the amount you get in compensation will depend on the weight of the evidence you presented during the case.

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