If you have been injured through the negligent actions of someone else, you may find yourself with overwhelming medical bills or lost wages from missed work. When this occurs, you are more than justified in filing a personal injury lawsuit. A lawsuit is not a way of taking revenge on the person or organization responsible for your injury, but rather a way of getting back some of the money you lost.
Consult With an Attorney
It is rarely, if ever, a good idea to attempt to file a personal injury lawsuit on your own. An attorney who specializes in personal injury cases can be an invaluable asset because he or she is not only more familiar with the laws in your state, but also is likely to have experience with cases much like yours. If you are worried about being able to afford a lawyer, keep in mind that most personal attorneys take their payment out of your settlement, so they don’t get paid until you get your money.
Decide What Type of Suit to File
Most states allow personal injury lawsuits to be filed in several different ways. For example, a duty suit can be filed when the person who caused the injuries owed a certain duty of care to the person who was hurt. Medical malpractice suits generally fall into this category. Another type of lawsuit is a negligence suit. In these suits, there was no duty of care, but the person who caused the injury knowingly created a dangerous situation through neglect, such as in the case of someone slipping and falling on a neighbor’s icy sidewalk.
Evidence for personal injury lawsuits generally comes in the form of documentation of the money the injury has cost you. This documentation can include doctor’s bills or a statement from your work about lost wages. You may also want to collect things like statements from witnesses or a letter from your doctor that details the extent of your injuries in order to bolster your case.
You May Want to Settle
While settling out of court may mean making a compromise, in many cases it is the best idea. Court cases can drag on, and there is no guarantee you will receive the settlement you ask for. Settling allows you access to money right away and saves you the stress of going through the court. If the other party offers to settle and the amount is one that you can live with, you will probably want to seriously consider taking the offer.
Filing a lawsuit is a good way to recoup some of what you lost due to your injury. However, it is generally not a good idea to attempt to do so without the help of a lawyer.