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How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit


  • After a serious accident, figuring out how to file a personal injury lawsuit can seem like an insurmountable task,
  • Personal injury lawsuits seek compensation for various types of damages caused as a result of another party’s negligent behavior.
  • These damages can include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
  • Most personal injury lawsuits are settled out-of-court, but in some cases, a trial may be necessary to come to an acceptable compromise.
  • A skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate your case and recover fair compensation.

Survivors of a serious accident experience a whole new set of challenges in the aftermath. You may suffer from debilitating injuries, mental trauma, and expensive bills. These damages can be a significant obstacle as you get back to your life, and you deserve to be compensated. However, most people don’t know how to file a personal injury lawsuit on their own.

With the help of an experienced lawyer, a personal injury lawsuit can bring you the relief you need. The award-winning team of personal injury attorneys at Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia are ready to protect your rights and seek fair compensation. Give us a call at (800) 320-4357 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

In legal terms, a personal injury is physical harm, mental trauma, or property damage inflicted on you by someone else’s negligent actions.

A personal injury lawsuit is a legal action initiated by the individual who has suffered this harm. This process is designed to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and to seek compensation for the injuries and losses suffered by the plaintiff.

Personal injury lawsuits can encompass a wide range of incidents, including:

If you were harmed, either physically, mentally, or financially, and someone else’s negligence played a role, you can initiate a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation.

Negligence is a Key Element of Personal Injury Lawsuits

Negligence is the failure to behave with the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under the same circumstances, either through their actions or their failure to act.

To establish negligence, your personal injury attorney must demonstrate that four key elements are present:

  • Duty of Care: Establishing that the at-fault party owed a duty of care to you. For example, a driver has a responsibility to protect others on the road by handling their vehicle with care, which means not speeding or driving distracted, to start with.
  • Breach of Duty: Demonstrating that the at-fault party breached this duty of care, either through action or inaction.
  • Causation: Showing that the at-fault party’s breach of duty directly caused you harm. This involves proving that the injuries would not have occurred if not for their actions.
  • Damages: Proving that you suffered actual damages as a result of the injury. These damages can be physical, emotional, or financial and may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.

How to get Personal Injury Claim

The compensation you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit is designed to make up for the damages you’ve suffered, at least to the extent that money can do so. It covers a range of losses and expenses, from the physical to the financial.

Some common examples of damages in a personal injury case include:

  • Medical bills: Past, current, and future medical treatment related to your injuries.
  • Lost wages: Compensation for the time you were unable to work due to your injuries.
  • Loss of earning capacity: If you suffer long-term or permanent injuries that prevent you from earning as much as you did before the accident. This damage is more common in cases involving catastrophic injuries, like traumatic brain injury claims.
  • Pain and suffering: For the physical and emotional distress caused by your injuries.
  • Property damage: If any of your property was damaged as a result of the incident.
  • Punitive damages: In rare cases, if the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious, courts may impose an additional monetary penalty.

Every case is different, and some damages are calculated on a subjective basis. An experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and estimate appropriate damages.

First Steps After a Personal Injury

Your actions in the immediate aftermath of the injury can be crucial, both for your long-term health and for your personal injury lawsuit.

Whether you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident, truck accident, or as the result of another type of negligent behavior, you may be too shaken to think clearly in the moment. Do your best to abide by the following, and leave the rest to your personal injury attorney.

  • Seek medical attention: Your health is the top priority, and having medical records will be important for your case.
  • Document everything: Take photos of your injuries, the accident scene, and anything else relevant.
  • Gather witness information: If there were any witnesses, get their contact information.
  • Report the incident: Depending on the type of accident, you may need to report it to the police, your employer, or another relevant authority.
  • Do not admit fault: Be careful not to apologize or admit fault at the scene or to any insurance companies.

After that, your next step should be contacting a local personal injury lawyer with experience negotiating the same type of claim you are pursuing.

Steps of How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Once you’ve decided to get in touch with a personal injury attorney and pursue compensation, your case will move through the steps of a lawsuit.

1. Investigation

To start things off, your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding your injury. They’ll gather and review the available evidence, review police reports, and check medical records. Then, they will assess the extent of your damages.

2. Demand letter

In some cases, your attorney may send a demand letter to the at-fault party or their insurance company. The demand letter outlines your injuries and the appropriate damages. It also offers a proposed settlement amount. Sometimes, the at-fault party will accept the settlement here, before litigation.

3. Filing the complaint

If the parties can’t agree on a settlement, your attorney will initiate the personal injury lawsuit by filing a complaint in the appropriate court. Then, they serve the at-fault party with a copy of the complaint. The defendant has a short window of time to respond.

4. Discovery

In the discovery process, both parties in the personal injury lawsuit exchange information and evidence relevant to the case. The purpose of this phase is to ensure everyone is working off the same set of facts.

5. Negotiation and settlement

Throughout the litigation process, there are several points at which both parties are encouraged to negotiate and come to a settlement agreement. Your attorney will negotiate for a settlement that best serves your interests and gives you the compensation you deserve.

6. Trial

Most personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court, but if a settlement cannot be reached, the case will proceed to trial. During the trial process, both parties will present evidence and argue their cases to a judge and/or jury, who will then decide on liability and damages.

Contact Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia About Locking Down Compensation For Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, our team at Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia can offer the unparalleled service you deserve. During a stressful time like the aftermath of a personal injury accident, you need someone you can trust to perform quality work and operate with integrity.

The personal injury attorneys of WHG have been doing just that for victims of negligence for years with great success. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation to discuss your case. To get started, contact us online or call us at (800) 320-4357.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit?

Florida allots a certain amount of time for victims of negligence to bring a civil action against the party that is liable for their damages. This statute of limitations applies to most types of personal injury lawsuits. For example, if you wanted to file a car accident claim in Florida, you have two years from the date you were injured in most instances.

Will I have to go to court for my personal injury case?

Many times, attorneys will resolve personal injury cases through out-of-court settlements. Avoiding trial is typically in the best interests of both parties, so they can avoid spending unnecessary time and resources haggling. However, if a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, your case may proceed to trial. Your personal injury lawyer will advocate for your rights and work to secure your compensation in court.

How much compensation can I expect for my injuries?

The amount of compensation you may receive depends on factors like the severity of your injuries, the extent of your financial losses, and the available insurance coverage. A personal injury lawyer can assess your case and provide a realistic estimate of the compensation the liable party may owe you.

No Win, No Fee Commitment

Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia is committed to helping you rebuild your life after a hardship. We are not just your legal team—we are your allies, your partners, and your advocates. We will do everything we can to handle your case with compassion and care, and to get you the results you need!

“And for every fight we take on, know this…we are doing everything we can to make sure we win!”

— Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia

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About the Author

Adam Werner is a partner and practicing attorney at WHG. He specializes in personal injury cases, workers’ compensation claims, and veteran disability benefits. He routinely writes about personal injury and workers comp topics for the Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia blog

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