Most people have heard about personal injury lawsuits, but might not completely understand what they are and how they work. 

If you have recently been injured, it’s important to know what you’re up against. That way, you can pursue your case and get the care and financial support you need with the help of a personal injury lawyer

Civil law allows personal injury victims to seek compensation for their injuries. In the article below, you’ll find the basics you need to know about personal injury law.


Formal Lawsuit

Sometimes, a personal injury lawsuit will go all the way to court. These cases are called formal lawsuits. 

The formal lawsuit process is complicated, so it’s essential that you have a trusted personal injury attorney on your side. Your attorney will help you gather evidence and support your case. That way, your legal team can better demonstrate that you were injured by the defendant’s negligence.

To start the process, you (and your personal injury lawyer) will need to file a formal complaint within the court system. The defendant in your case will be the individual or organization that caused you harm. You will then go to court, and your injury lawyer will work to prove your case.

The other party may file a counterclaim, which your lawyer can help you to refute. In general, your lawyer will present evidence to the court. If your team has been successful in presenting your case, you will receive damages. Your injury lawyer will help you before the case goes to court to make sure they think your case is solid and you are likely to succeed.


Informal Settlement

While your case may go to court, it isn’t the most likely scenario. In most personal injury cases, the result is settled outside of court. In this process, called an informal settlement, you and your lawyers will negotiate with the other party and their lawyers. 

Your injury attorney will help you negotiate and come up with an amount to compensate you for your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Through this negotiation, you will come to an agreement, after which point the settlement will be put into writing.


Grounds for a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Before you can pursue either of the options above, you need to show cause to bring the lawsuit in the first place. 

Demonstrating grounds for a lawsuit typically involves convincing the judge that the defendant likely had a duty to you, that they likely failed in that duty, and that their failure was likely the cause of your injury. If you can demonstrate all three of these things, your suit will be allowed to proceed. 

With that evidence in mind, you and your lawyer can work together to seek a resolution for your personal injury lawsuit.


Causes of Action

Many injuries result from a car accident, but there are many other injuries for which you can seek damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Other examples of this kind of case include slipping or falling on someone’s property, a medical malpractice event, or a dog bite. 


Types of Damages

Your compensatory damages may include medical bills, lost wages, and damages for changes to your quality of life. In rare cases, you may also seek punitive damages, which are used to punish the defendant and deter abusive behavior. These damages can only be sought when you can prove that the defendant willfully or maliciously caused you harm.


Seeking damages through a personal injury case is important if you have been unjustly injured. With the help of a personal injury law firm, you can get help with your challenging situation. Then with your damages in hand, you can work towards moving on with your life.