Personal Injury Lawsuit
Process and Timeline

A. Choosing Your Attorneys

Discussing Your Case With A Lawyer

The first thing you should do if you’ve been hurt due to someone else’s negligence is to go to a personal injury attorney who can give you a professional opinion on whether or not you have a case. This could be done anytime before or after your emergency hospital visit. Share any paperwork, documents, or notes that pertain to your circumstance with your attorney. Your attorney will provide you with a free initial consultation to examine the circumstances around your case. If both of you agree to proceed with the representation, the personal injury attorney will send you a signup package which includes the contingency fee agreement, HIPAA, Lost Wages verification form and power of attorney.

Assessing the Legal Representative

Finding the appropriate personal injury attorney to represent you might be the difference between success and failure in court. Talk to the lawyer about their experience and success rate with cases like yours, how they handle client communication, how many cases they have litigated, their results, how they manage their case volume, the various steps in the personal injury process, and anything else on your mind. You should expect the lawyer to ask you many questions at the first consultation. A lawyer who guarantees specific compensation at the first consultation should raise red flags. Professional legal representation requires additional time for a case evaluation.

Choosing Your Lawyers and their Fees

Personal injury lawyers often work on a “contingency fee” basis, meaning they are paid nothing unless they win your case. When your case closes, and you get compensation, your attorney will receive a fee equal to a percentage of that amount, often between 35% and 45%, as payment for their services. In addition, the attorney will cover the expenses associated with the case (e.g. police report, court fees, court reporter fees, etc…) and will be refunded those cases from the recovery. If you decide to retain legal representation, you’ll be required to sign a client contract outlining the terms of your relationship and the agreed-upon cost. Before agreeing to the charge, be sure all your queries are answered.

B. We Start Working to Win Your Case

Looking into Your Case (Investigation Stage)

The lawyer will investigate the circumstances of your incident and the negligence of the people involved. The initial step is called “determining liability.” Furthermore, the attorney will look into the extent of your injuries and damages. The attorney then will make a claim with the insurance company of the person that caused your damages. These initial steps are the most significant part of your case. The person at fault usually tries to deny the incident; or their insurance company (attorney) will advise them on how to dodge accepting liability. There is no such thing as a clear liability case. Majority of the time, the insurance company would not even accept liability; however, they will proceed with the case to see if they can reach a settlement. Throughout the case, your attorney will inform you of any discussions and significant developments.

Property Damage (This step only applies to Motor Vehicle Collisions)

There are 2 options in handling your property damage. First, you can use your own insurance if a Collision or Uninsured motorist coverage is available on your policy. If you do not have that option available, you can continue with your claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Accessing your own insurance policy expedites your property damage claim, and you do not have to wait for the investigation stage of your case. The problem is that you have to pay the deductible upfront; however, your insurance will pursue the at fault party’s insurance themselves and get their money and your deductible back. However, you will be limited to the amounts covered under your own policy and your purchased coverage. If you pursue the second option, the process is much longer, and it may be a while before you gain access to your vehicle. Our office will walk you through the steps. There are no fees at this stage if you handle the property damage yourself through your own insurance.


Your health and recovery is the most essential part of your case. Your car can be replaced or repaired; however, some injuries are permanent and do not reveal themselves until many years later. The insurance companies are in the business of downplaying your injuries and their severity to pay you less for your compensation. Therefore, attending all your doctor visits and treatment goes to the heart of your case. Unfortunately, insurance companies drag like cases to court and tell the jury that you are not injured. When we go to court, we can’t mention the word insurance, so it looks like you are asking the person that caused your collision for money, and they count on the jury’s sympathy for a lower recovery. Therefore, following your doctor’s instruction and evidencing every detail of your injuries to present to the jury is crucial to your recovery from your damages. Your treatment will be one of the lengthiest stage of your case.


After you are done with your treatment, our office will assist you with gathering all your medical bills and records to submit to the insurance company. Once all medical bills and notes are collected, we review them to form an evaluation based on your injuries. We will put our evaluation, bills, and notes into a “Demand Package” and give it to the insurance company for an offer. This stage will take approximately 4-6 months, depending on the volume of your medical bills and records.

Pre-Lawsuit Settlement

Many personal injury cases are settled out of court before a lawsuit is even filed. Your lawyer will speak on your behalf with the insurance provider for the negligent party. The insurance company will often make a settlement offer, and your lawyer will advise you on whether or not to accept the offer based on their expertise. While legal counsel is invaluable, it is ultimately up to you to choose whether or not the proposed settlement is satisfactory.

C. Taking a Personal Injury Claim to Court

Filing a Lawsuit, Petition and Answer

The Petition is where you become specific about what happened and how much money you’re owed. Common jurisdictions include the county where the harm happened or the defendant’s county of residence. The Petition is handed along to the defendant by personal delivery once it has been filed. An “answer” to the Petition is due within a certain time frame. In their “answer,” the defendant either confirms or rejects the claims made against them in the Petition, usually rejecting it.

Discovery or Exploration

This is when both sides collect information and evidence from one another and outside sources. Questionnaires, called interrogatories and document requests, are two forms of written discovery. When a lawyer examines a witness, expert, or party in a deposition, the testimony is considered on the record and is admissible in court. Your attorney must know your current contact information to facilitate your participation.


The parties to a legal dispute can request mediation at any point in the proceedings. Mediation is a kind of alternative dispute resolution in which both sides, represented by counsel, meet with a third party who serves as an impartial referee. As the mediator facilitates, each party makes its case and attempts to reach a compromise. An offer made during mediation is not legally binding and may be accepted or rejected by any party.

Civil Trial for Injury

We will go to trial if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached. We’ll argue your case in court, using the information found through discovery and any necessary expert testimony. Many of us would rather have a jury decide our cases than a judge, as juries tend to be more compassionate in times of tragedy.

Your attorney will present your case in front of a judge or jury, and the other side (the defendant) will give their defense after that. After hearing the evidence presented by both parties, the judge or jury will decide (1) whether the defendant is accountable (legally responsible) for your injuries and harm and (2) how much the defendant must pay you in damages.


Suppose the jury decides against you or against the other side. Either party can file an appeal if they believe either party or the court made a legal mistake. Additional data and legal arguments on our part will likely be required to convince the court of our position. The court, if we prevail, may decide to overturn its earlier ruling or even retry the case.


Write all the information needed in the form and we will schedule your FREE Consultation.


Your thoughts and ideas are essential to us. It acts as a compass for us and shows us whether or not we have stayed true to the vision and purpose we had for the company.