How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Filing a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary if you or somebody you love has been injured due to the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of another person. These cases can become incredibly complicated, and it is strongly advisable to seek assistance from a skilled personal injury attorney in Irvine at the outset of your case. There are various ways that people can sustain injuries that may require them to file a personal injury lawsuit. This can include car accidents, slip and fall incidents, medical mistakes, and more. Here, we want to outline some of the basic steps for filing a personal injury lawsuit. For more in-depth information, contact an attorney about your case.

Determine if an Insurance Policy Covers the Incident

The vast majority of personal injury cases in California are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers. First, you will want to see if your injury is covered under an insurance policy of some sort. For example, car accident injury victims are usually able to recover compensation through an auto insurance policy. Those injured at work will likely be covered under workers’ compensation insurance.

However, just because an injury could be covered under insurance does not mean that a lawsuit will still not be necessary. Insurance carriers are notoriously difficult to deal with, and they may deny a valid claim or refuse to offer enough money to cover your expenses.

Speak to an Attorney About Your Case

Even as you are determining whether or not insurance will cover your expenses, you should speak to an attorney for a free consultation of your case. A skilled personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate the preliminary evidence of your case and determine whether or not there is legal standing to file a lawsuit. Further, an attorney will help you determine whether or not filing a lawsuit will be able to secure you more compensation then an insurance settlement would. Regardless, an attorney can also help deal with insurance carriers even if a lawsuit is not necessary.

Filing the Lawsuit

If an insurance carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement for your claim or if they deny a claim altogether, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit. Your personal injury attorney will be able to help you fill out all paperwork required to file a lawsuit, and they will file it appropriately with the court. The language used in your filings with the court is important, and an attorney can do this for you.

Be Aware of the Time Limits

It is crucial to keep in mind at each state has time limits, called statute of limitation, for how long victims of personal injuries have to file lawsuits against at-fault parties. The statute of limitations in California is two years from the date the injury occurred. Victims who fail to file a lawsuit within this two-year timeframe will typically lose the ability to recover any compensation for their losses.

What Kind of Compensation Is Available?

Personal injury victims may be entitled to various types of compensation if their lawsuit is successful. This can include:

  • Full coverage of medical bills related to the injury
  • Lost income if the victim cannot work while they recover
  • General household out-of-pocket expenses
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of personal enjoyment damages
  • Possible punitive damages against a grossly negligent party

The total amount of compensation awarded in a successful personal injury lawsuit will vary depending on the circumstances related to each particular situation.