If you have been seriously injured in an accident, or a family member has died as a result of someone else’s negligence, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. A personal injury lawsuit allows you to pursue compensation for your losses and hold the person or company that caused your injuries accountable. Even if you are not sure if you have a case, speaking with a personal injury attorney from Moore law firm can help you understand your rights and options for pursuing financial recovery for your losses.
Steps for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit, here are the steps to take:
1. Consult With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Personal injury law is complex, and it can be difficult to prove that another party’s negligence caused your injuries. That is why it is so important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who knows how to build a strong case and protect your rights. Your Personal injury lawyer will help identify if you really have a case.
Do You Have a Case?
Before you can file a personal injury lawsuit, you have to have a case. If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s behavior, that person may have committed negligence or some other kind of wrongdoing. However, not every incident is actionable — in other words, not every incident is grounds for filing a lawsuit.
- To file a personal injury lawsuit, you must show that:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- The defendant breached the duty of care
- You were harmed as a result of the defendant’s breach
As an example, consider that drivers in traffic owe each other a duty to drive safely and obey traffic laws. If one driver runs a red light and causes an accident with another car, the driver who ran the red light will likely be legally responsible for any injuries caused by that reckless driving behaviour. That driver has breached the duty of care owed to other drivers on the road, this can be a strong ground for a personal injury case.
If you do have a legal claim, your personal injury lawyer will help you with the next steps. There are several things that need to be done right away in order to preserve your legal rights including obtaining police reports, photographs and details of witnesses while they are still fresh in their minds. In addition, there are strict time deadlines for filing claims against government agencies and insurance companies which must be met or your claim will be barred forever. A personal injury lawyer can help protect your rights and ensure that you are
2. Gather Evidence and Support for Your Claim
Once you’ve established that you’re eligible to sue, it’s time to gather evidence.
If you decide to move forward with a lawsuit, your attorney will begin gathering evidence and information about your claim. This may include medical records related to the accident; financial records showing lost income and other expenses related to the accident; witness statements; photographs of the scene of the accident; and any other evidence that supports your claim.
To support your claim for damages, you must have evidence. This can come in many forms, including:
- Police records of the accident or incident.
- Medical records and bills for injuries and treatment.
- Photos of the scene of the accident or incident.
- Eyewitness testimony from people who saw what happened.
- Physical evidence like a damaged car from a car crash, or damaged property from a slip and fall injury.
The more evidence you have available to support your claim, the more likely it is that you will be able to prove your case in court.
3. File a complaint with the court.
Before you file your complaint, you need to decide where to file it. You must file your lawsuit in a court that has jurisdiction over the defendant. Most likely, this will be in the defendant’s home state. The rules of civil procedure also allow you to file a lawsuit in the state where the injury occurred.
You begin your personal injury lawsuit by filing a complaint with the court. Your Moore law firm lawyer will prepare the complaint about you, but you must provide all relevant information about the accident and your injuries, as well as what happened as a result of your injuries (i.e., lost wages, medical bills).
The complaint is basically a document that explains who was at fault for your accident and how that person’s negligence injured you. After filing your complaint with the court and giving notice to the responsible party (the defendant), there are several steps both sides will have to take before the case goes to trial.
4. Send a summons and complaint to the defendant.
The summons informs them of the lawsuit, and the complaint lays out your claim. In most personal injury cases, the summons is served along with a copy of the complaint by either a process server (a person who has been licensed to serve legal documents) or by certified mail.
The summons and complaint must be served within a certain time period after you file your case. Once it is served, you will receive an Affidavit of Service from your service provider which confirms that the other party received their copy.
5. Attend any hearing or mediation ordered by the court.
Personal injury claims are often resolved through a process called mediation or arbitration. This is a meeting between the parties, their attorneys and an insurance company mediator or arbitrator to try to resolve the case. If the parties agree on a settlement amount, then they will sign a written settlement agreement that resolves the lawsuit. If not, then the case will go to trial.
Attend any pretrial hearings and trials as needed.
If your personal injury claim is not resolved before trial, you will need to attend any pretrial hearings, such as a motions hearing. This is an opportunity for both sides of the lawsuit to file motions with the court regarding the issues in your case.
You will also need to attend the trial unless it has been scheduled for a time when you are unavailable. If you do not show up for a trial, then your case may be dismissed by default and you may be required to pay attorney fees and costs for the defendant’s lawyer. At trial, you will have an opportunity to present evidence and testimony in support of your claim for damages.
Prepare for a trial, if necessary.
If your case has not been settled, you may have to prepare for a trial. Trials can be long and expensive, so your attorney will probably recommend that you do everything possible to settle your case before going to trial. When you reach a settlement, your attorney will write up an agreement and submit it to the court. The judge will review the agreement and decide whether or not to approve it in court.
If your case goes to trial, you will have to wait until both sides have presented their arguments before the judge makes his or her decision. The judge will decide whether either side is legally responsible for the other’s injuries and whether she is entitled to receive compensation from the other party. Judges usually make their decisions based on the evidence presented at trial as well as any legal precedents set by similar cases in the past.
Your attorney should know what kind of compensation you are entitled to based on the details of your case and should be able to help you recover even more than what you are owed by negotiating with the insurance company or through litigation, if necessary.
Story From Atty. Moore
Since establishing Moore Law Firm, Mr. Moore has recruited some of the top legal minds in the state to represent plaintiffs for personal injury and property damage insurance claims. Over his notable legal career, Mr. Moore was named a Multi-Million Dollar Advocate, one of the Best Attorneys of America, received the second largest products liability verdict in Texas, and currently Lead Liaison Counsel In Re: Fraudulent Hospital Lien Litigation, MDL-15-0360. Moore Law Firm seeks to practice law and represent clients aggressively as Mr. Moore has established himself as a distinguished litigator in South Texas.