If you’re considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to take the time beforehand to ensure you have all of your bases covered. In this guide, you’ll discover several important things you should do before filing a personal injury lawsuit.
1: Gather Documentation
If you’re thinking about suing a negligent company or person for a personal injury, you’ll need to collect all of the important documentation surrounding your injury. This includes any medical bills you might have, information about surgery and recovery costs, pictures of the accident scene and any permanent injuries, police reports from the incident, written accounts of friends, family members, or eyewitnesses, medical records for any witnesses involved in the accident, and more.
2: Determine Fault
While it’s possible to sue multiple parties when filing a personal injury lawsuit (for example, both the negligent driver who hit you and the company that manufactured your defective car part), it’s important to understand which party is the most liable for your injury. You should also take note of other potentially responsible parties, such as additional drivers or companies that were involved in the cause of your accident.
3: Have a Medical Evaluation
Once you’ve gathered all of your documentation and identified which party is likely responsible for your injury, it’s time to visit a qualified medical professional for a thorough medical evaluation. This will help you to understand the full extent of your injuries and establish which party is at fault for your injury.
4: Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
As soon as possible after receiving a medical evaluation, it’s recommended that you hire a personal injury lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you handle all of the legal processes associated with filing a personal injury lawsuit, such as contacting all potentially liable parties and gathering your evidence.
5: Find Witnesses
If possible, try to locate any witnesses who were present during your accident and may be able to provide valuable information about what occurred. It’s important to mention that witnesses should be able to provide factual information, rather than opinions about what happened.
6: Secure Evidence
While it’s possible to file a personal injury lawsuit based solely on the evidence you’ve already collected, there might also be other pieces of evidence you haven’t yet found. For this reason, you may want to consider hiring a private investigator to help locate any evidence you might have missed during your initial investigation.
7: Negotiate with the Insurance Company
If the negligent party has insurance, it’s best to contact their insurance company as soon as possible in order to negotiate a settlement. While each case is different, the insurance company might be willing to compensate you fairly if their insured party caused your injury.
8: Give Notice of Intent to Sue
If negotiations with the negligent party’s insurance company fail, you’ll need to notify them in writing that you intend to file a personal injury lawsuit against them. This step is often referred to as “giving notice” and it’s an important part of the personal injury lawsuit process.
9: File a Lawsuit
Your final step in filing a personal injury lawsuit is to actually file your case with the court. You’ll need to file all relevant documentation, such as your medical records and pictures of your injuries, along with written accounts of the incident, police reports, and more. This information will help you support your personal injury case in court.
If your case ends up going to trial, you’ll need to be prepared for a long legal battle that can have significant financial consequences if you’re not successful. You should work with your attorney to prepare yourself for this process.