How Do Personal Injury Lawsuits Work?

If you filed a personal injury claim but the settlement you were offered was too low, it may be time to pursue a lawsuit. With the right personal injury attorney, you can have some peace of mind throughout the process.

While most cases do settle out of court, if the figure offered during settlement isn’t fair, the next step will be moving forward with a lawsuit. This doesn’t always mean it will go to trial, as a new settlement may be introduced. However, you should know how personal injury lawsuits work so you’ll know what to expect.

If you need assistance pursuing the compensation you deserve, contact the Giordano Law Offices.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

The first step of the lawsuit is filing it. Your personal injury lawyer can file this summons and complaint on your behalf. Once filed, the papers will then be served on the defendant.

Answering the Complaint

Once the defendant has been served with this complaint, they will have 20 days to respond with an answer. In this answer, they must either deny or admit to the allegations in the complaint and provide defenses. 

Discovery Process

Moving on from there, the lawsuit goes into discovery. This is where each side gets the chance to explore the information that the other side currently has in its possession. This information is obtained with a “demand for a bill of particulars” as well as a “notice for discovery and inspection.”

In response to the demand for a bill of particulars, each side provides more details. For you as the plaintiff, it will include further details about the allegations against the defendant and the damages being sought. The defendant will respond with more facts regarding their defense. Evidence is also submitted during discovery.

The Examination Before Trial

In New York, a deposition is referred to as the “examination before trial.” It is the final part of discovery and involves having lawyers for both parties along with their clients sit down at a table. Each side is sworn under oath and asked questions. 

If you are the plaintiff in the personal injury lawsuit, your lawyer will ask the defendant questions. The defendant’s lawyer will in turn ask you questions. A court reporter will type everything said during the deposition and produce a transcript.

Pre-Trial Conference

Following the deposition, your personal injury lawyer will file a note of issue and statement of readiness. This alerts the judge that the case is now ready for trial. The court will then set up a pre-trial conference in which another attempt is made for both parties to settle. If no agreement can be made, a trial date will be set.

The Trial

The final step is the trial. As mentioned, most lawsuits will settle prior to reaching the trial stage. However, by choosing a lawyer with extensive experience in the courtroom, you will likely have the best possible outcome.