If a lawsuit becomes necessary, your personal injury attorney will explain in detail what you will have to do. Usually, the process involves the following steps:
- After the investigation and preparation for your case is done, your lawyer files a claim using a “Summons and Complaint” form. Typically, the lawyer or his or her staff completes this step; you do not need to be involved.
- That complaint is served to the defendant in the case, whether it be a single person, group of people or a company. You are now called the plaintiff in the case.
- After the complaint is served to the defendant, the defendant usually hires a lawyer (if he or she doesn’t already have one). That lawyer typically files something called the “Answer to the Complaint.” The answer almost always denies liability for the event which caused you harm.
The process of discovery
Your personal injury attorney will also likely engage in something called “discovery.” This process is where the plaintiff and defendant gather information about the case from one another. You do have a part to play in this process. Among other things, you will be asked to supply details regarding the extent of your injuries, including the prognosis and estimated medical costs.