This section covers how to file a lawsuit for personal injury damages.
From the time you file suit to when you appear in court, you’ll have a lot on your plate. Some of the tasks include:
- Actually filing the lawsuit
- Serving papers to the defendant
- Organizing your evidence
- Preparing your case arguments
The court hearing will differ depending on where you file your lawsuit. Small claims courts are informal and don’t require an attorney. In higher courts, you’ll need an experienced lawyer who can navigate through strict legal procedures. You can also opt for arbitration, a form of alternative dispute resolution.
How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit:
Learn the basic process of filing a personal injury lawsuit in small claims court. We include tips on how to plan your case, prepare witnesses and evidence, and present your argument effectively in court.
If you file an injury lawsuit in small claims court, you’ll be able to present your case to a judge, and perhaps even a jury. This maneuver can work in your favor, but in certain situations it won’t be worth the trouble.
When filing a lawsuit in small claims court, you must follow certain protocols. Your local clerk’s office can help you with the details and provide the proper forms. Here we take a look at what you can expect in the filing process.
Thoroughly preparing for your small claims trial is perhaps the most important part of winning. This section shows you how to organize and present your evidence, and how to make the most convincing case.
Actually presenting your case before a small claims court can be daunting. You can help your presentation by learning how to tell an effective story and presenting your evidence the right way.
Opting for a civil lawsuit can be a tough decision. There are many factors to consider including venue and jurisdictional limits. This section looks at why civil court may or may not be worthwhile in your situation.
The burden of proof in a personal injury lawsuit doesn’t work the same way as in a criminal trial. If you’re heading to court, make sure you fully understand this principle. It may also help to review how attorneys prove their cases.
After winning a lawsuit, the defendant may try to appeal the verdict, or will simply use the threat of appeal to get you to take a settlement. It pays to learn a few things about this final step of the civil litigation process.
Instead of filing a small claims lawsuit, you might opt for an arbitration hearing. This section helps you understand the process of arbitration, when it applies, and gives a comparison between arbitration and small claims court.
If arbitration seems right for you, then you need to understand how the process works. Here we discuss arbitration clauses, choosing an arbitrator and location, and the option of hiring an attorney to represent you.
Arbitration is less formal than court, but the process is similar. In arbitration, you’ll have more time to present your case and be able to take breaks. Learn the process of arbitration and get some tips to make the process go smoothly.
How Much is Your Injury Claim Worth?
Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney…
Search for a Previously Answered Question
Someone hit my car from behind and left the scene of the accented. We didn’t get their name or number. My insurance company has appointed a Subrogation Recovery Service to pursue compensation on their behalf. They have sent many letters to I think the owner of the vehicle with no response. They want the owner... Read More.
The tire fell off the rim of a business truck driving on a flat tire in Arizona and hit my car at around 60-70 mph. The business owner’s insurance company wants to total my car for $1500, which is less than the estimate to repair it. The business is located in California, and the truck... Read More.
I want to file suit on a defendant for an MVA (Motor Vehicle Accident), but there was no police report made, and other than the Defendant’s name I don’t have any other information to go on. Is there any way I can get his information from his insurance company? If so, how do I go... Read More.
I am pursuing a medical malpractice case in TN pro se. TN requires a notice of intent to sue be sent to the potential defendants at least 60 days before a complaint can be filed (http://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2010/title-29/chapter-26/part-1/29-26-121/). This can be done either by process server or by certified mail. I’m planning on using both methods, just... Read More.
My mother slipped and fell in a grocery store, which nobody denies. She hired an attorney who was very rude to her and disrespectful. She had called the Bar Association many times to complain, but never actually filed a complaint on paper. She’s very ill mentally and physically. Anyway, the statute of limitations runs out... Read More.
I was in a car accident and my niece and nephew were in the car. They were injured and when they received their settlement it was put into a trust. The attorney said the state of Missouri required the trust to be set up for them. I had no problem with this. Their mother now... Read More.
My boyfriend was driving my car and got into an accident that was his fault. I didn’t have insurance and he got the ticket. The other party is now suing me for damages and I wasn’t even there when it happened. My boyfriend has made payment arrangements with them and they still suspended my license.... Read More.
I was hit by a vehicle when I was 10 years old. My mother filed a lawsuit against the person that hit me and I was awarded a settlement, but she made it so that I can only get the money at the age of 18, 21 and 25. I am now 18 years old.... Read More.
My daughter and I were rear-ended by a large bobtail truck and knocked unconscious, but we came to before the highway patrol and emergency workers came. My daughter and I had an attorney for about 4 years who refused to put a lien on our medical care and my daughter didn’t even have compensation until... Read More.
When I was in high school 11 years ago I reported sexual harassment by my male teacher. A few more girls came forward and the teacher was arrested and charged. He then confessed. One if the girls admitted to having a voluntary sexual relationship with the teacher. Her parents decided to file a lawsuit after... Read More.
I am confused with the way I should write the statement for my small claims session. I got my legs waxed at a nail salon and my legs got all burnt and bruised. I have to write a statement of why I would like to sue them I just don’t know a good way to... Read More.
I won a slip and fall lawsuit and the fault was placed on three different parties. I received payment from one of the three parties and my lawyer took his fee out of that check, leaving the remaining settlement amount from the other 2 parties to all go to me. Over 10 years have now... Read More.
I signed a lease to rent a home with some written conditions of hanging light fixtures and several other things. I was given permission from the landlord to come in and clean up even before the lease began. A few days later I and several others came and began cleaning. While hanging a shower curtain... Read More.
I got into an accident when I was 17 and there was ligament damage to my left knee. I got treatment for approximately two months and afterwards I was told that I would get money for the accident and the pain it caused me. I’m supposed to get $8,000 dollars but the judge said I... Read More.
I borrowed my neighbor’s car. She told me it would make it to Michigan. The car broke down in Lakesville, Indiana. It had major engine problems related to her brother (a non-licensed mechanic) putting on a head gasket without putting on the upper intake. The intake cracked causing it to blow antifreeze and water back... Read More.
I was walking across the street in a crosswalk and was struck by a car. While I was trying to get a personal injury trial the defendant’s lawyer fabricated a lie, saying that I owed him $7,000. The judge believed him and issued an order to stay all proceedings (including going to trial) until I... Read More.
My family went out to eat at a restaurant. My son climbed into the booth and cut his knee. The manager told us to go to the emergency room and have them call him. He would tell them where to send the medical bill because they would pay it. So we did. My son had... Read More.
A year ago, we were renovating our new home. We hired a private contractor to fix up the house. There was construction about every other day. The renovation took almost a year before it was finally finished. By then the construction was done and the workers were all gone. We moved in and had lived... Read More.
I co-signed on a car for my daughter and therefore had to be listed on the insurance policy for the vehicle along with her. She is the principal driver. If she gets in an accident (that is her fault) and there are injuries to others, can I be held liable and sued? She is NOT... Read More.
Can a plaintiff recover any damage award for losing her fetus after falling down (not a medical malpractice cause of action)? In what circumstance would she be able to get a settlement? Thanks. Read More.
While driving my compact car in October 2007, I was completely stopped at a red light waiting for oncoming traffic to clear (in order to make a right turn) when I was rear-ended by an SUV. Police responded to the scene and found the other driver at fault. Due to severe pain in my neck... Read More.
I was in a shopping mall, pushing my 3 1/2 month old in her stroller when I slipped and fell on some spilled coffee. I fell to my knees, ended up bruising my right knee, cracking my big toe nail on my left foot and hurting my back – it’s been a few days and... Read More.
I was visiting a friend at his apartment complex and I fell down the stairs. The stairway had a break in the landing creating a tripping hazard. I hurt my back and I’m wondering if I have a valid lawsuit? Read More.
In Mississippi, approximately 7 years ago, my son’s fiance (who was 17 years old at the time), was driving on a narrow dirt road (not even two lanes), in a friend’s vehicle. Another car was approaching and they collided. No one was hurt. The police were called and the officer did NOT give either one... Read More.
On April 4, 2011 we settled my personal injury case at mediation. It has now been 51 days and I still have not received payment. I’m wondering what’s the normal time frame for receiving settlement payment? Is there anything I can do to speed it up? Read More.
I have a personal injury case and I’m really hating the opposing lawyers, and the case just started. They are pulling very shady moves (and of course they know it) but I am disabled as a direct result of 2 accidents at my previous landlord/owner’s apartment building. I made about $55,000 a year previously but... Read More.
I have a concern about a current case… If a personal injury settlement is awarded by a jury and the defendant appeals the award amount, is there a limitation on time to complete the appeal process before I can get my settlement check? Read More.
I filed a pro se medical malpractice complaint in Davidson County Tennessee District Court. On the complaint I put the wrong surgery date. I need to amend my complaint to correct the date and to also add defendants. Do I have to get permission from the court to strike and amend or can I file... Read More.
I agreed to the settlement currently on the table but since then I’ve changed my mind. I have not yet signed any papers or releases, everything is verbal at this point. Is that binding? Read More.
My daughter and I were in a car accident in which I was issued a failure to yield citation. The traffic case is not yet settled. At present her father, who has not yet been recognized by the courts to have any parental rights beyond visitation (VAP – Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity – was signed,... Read More.
There was a teen car crash when my 16 year old son was driving down a dirt road, had a blow out and hit a tree. He had two other boys with him, one is 16 and the other is 14. The two 16 year old boys had on seat belts but the 14 year... Read More.
My wife and I are being sued by the husband of a lady friend of mine. He is accusing me of having an affair with his wife. He has been caught several times having outside affairs and he is very abusive and disrespectful to his wife. I have threatening text and voice messages. I’m just... Read More.
I slipped and fell in a store and suffered a mild concussion about a year ago. I now suffer with post-concussion syndrome. I didn’t seek legal help when I settled with the company. Can I re-open a personal injury lawsuit? Read More.
I loaned money to a friend to help cover costs for a family emergency. I drafted and had him sign a promissory note indicating that he would repay the amount in 5 installments over a period of 5 months which ends next month. To date, I have received 1 “good” payment. He has given me... Read More.
In this 18 wheeler crash, a person was rear-ended at a red light by a tractor trailer, sustained a slipped disc, and under went surgery. How does a jury decide what amount of money is to be given in a personal injury case like this? Read More.
I was called to work on a vehicle by the owner on the side of the road. In order to get the vehicle started I had to go under the hood to crank it and when I got it started the car automatically came out of gear. The vehicle smashed me in between it and... Read More.
I live in St Thomas, Virgin Islands I am requesting that the court grant me Punitive Damages brought on by the conscious conduct of my niece during the death of my mother for financial and mental injuries. My mother lived in Hollis, New York, my niece was with her on the day she died, she... Read More.
I want to go to trial because someone ran a red light and is now suing me. I definitely want to request a jury trial and I plan on denying any settlement that puts me at fault in any way. This is why I will have to represent myself, because personal injury attorneys, like insurance... Read More.
I am being sued for a rear-end collision. I was just served notice for the Court Clerk. The incident happened many months ago. I paid the ticket and my insurance has taken care of the party’s medical expenses, etc. Is it possible for the party to seek more damages for “neglect”? Read More.
I wrote a demand letter using an example on your website. It was for a compensation of fracture injury I suffered due to a fall which occurred 23 months prior to sending the claim to the insured of the business where I fell. I received a letter after 2 months in response to my claim... Read More.
I was involved in an auto accident 7 yrs ago where my wife & 3 children were in the vehicle. We were rear ended while stopped at a traffic light. My wife was treated for about six months, the children for only 2 weeks, and myself for 7 yrs which I also had back surgery... Read More.
I was in an auto accident and the other party was at fault. The accident resulted in myself having a torn rotator cuff and muscle in right shoulder, also two discs in my neck were herniated. Medical bills for both surgeries are estimated at $58,000 and lost wages at $36,000. I was told the other... Read More.
I was at a stop light in heavy traffic, had been being tailgated by an SUV, I was in a civic. When the light turned green I began going forward along with the cars in front of me but the car behind me lagged. Then the SUV gunned it and went up on the median... Read More.
I was rear ended in an auto accident in 2003 resulting in 3 surgeries & permanent injury to my wrist, shoulder and collarbone. The court date is this August. My lawyer is telling me that the defense will only agree to arbitration with an agreed upon cap, or trial. I don’t know what the case... Read More.