How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Injuries Sustained in a Car Crash
A car crash is a frightening experience that may leave you picking up the pieces both physically and emotionally. You likely have damage to your vehicle, and you may also be dealing with significant personal injuries. To make matters worse, you may be out of work due to your injury or lack of transportation. You may be considering filing a lawsuit against the other driver, but you may not be sure where to start. Here are a few tips:
- Go to Your Court’s Website: Each court has different rules and requirements for filing a lawsuit. Visiting your court’s website may help you get started figuring out these requirements including what kind of documentation you must file to get your lawsuit started and how much you must pay to file the documentation and make sure the person you are suing gets a copy. Be careful that you are looking at the right court. Where the accident occurred and how much money you are seeking in damages will likely determine in which court you need to file your lawsuit.
- Visit or Call the Clerk’s Office: If the website does not provide you with enough information to get started, consider calling or visiting the clerk’s office of your local court. Clerk’s office employees are trained to provide assistance to people involved court cases. They will not offer legal advice, but can provide copies of requested forms and information, and give you guidance about how much you will need to pay in filing and service fees to get your case started.
- Gather Your Evidence: As you start to put together your case, keep any evidence you may have. This includes medical bills and records for your injury, pharmacy bills and records for any medication you took due to your injury, repair estimates and records for your vehicle, any communication or records from your insurance company, any police report that was filed, and also any photographs that you have of the accident, of your vehicle before or after the accident, or your injuries. If there were witnesses to the accident, make sure you get their names and contact information so that you can ask them questions about the case, or potentially call them as witnesses at trial.
- Consult an Attorney: The most beneficial step you could take when filing a lawsuit would be to consult with a car accident lawyer trusts. Although there are many sources available with free information about lawsuits and how to file them, there is no substitute for a competent and professional attorney who has experience trying cases like yours in your local court. A qualified attorney will already know the forms you need, will know how to gather and present your evidence to the court, and will be able to recommend a strategy for pursuing your claim at trial or engaging in settlement negotiations that could get you the compensation you need faster and more efficiently.
Filing a lawsuit is not easy and winning your case is even harder. Consult the sources available to you, gather and organize the facts of your case, and strongly consider hiring an attorney.