What to Know About Personal Injury Lawsuits & Claims

Published on December 17th, 2021

Personal injury (PI) pertains to any injury to the body. That’s the only simple part about PI. Seeking settlements and compensation due to injury that someone else may be legally responsible for is where things get complicated.

What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Personal injury lawsuits are lawsuits based on a plaintiff seeking compensation for injuries suffered where another party may be legally responsible. Personal injury lawsuits are civil cases, which means they take place between two parties (the plaintiff & the defendant).

Why Do Personal Injury Lawsuits Occur?

When a legal dispute between two parties arises over compensation for a personal injury settlement a lawsuit is filed. Personal injuries can be handled before heading to the legal system if the two parties come to a quick settlement (usually due to a contract or agreement).

If a dispute between the two parties happens, lawyers get involved and a civil lawsuit is filed. When legal teams get involved, a personal injury becomes a personal injury lawsuit.

How Do Personal Injury Lawsuits Work?

Like most cases brought to court, personal injury lawsuits involve litigation followed by the filing of documents. Typically during this part of the lawsuit, an informal settlement is made. Personal injury lawsuits can drag on for a really long time so defendants want to end the case before it gets too far along.

Informal settlements can be thought of as out-of-court settlements. If an informal agreement is reached, both parties sign an agreement preventing further legal action from taking place. The agreement must be upheld and the plaintiff must receive the agreed-upon settlement.

If an informal settlement is unable to be reached, a formal personal injury lawsuit takes place. Personal injury lawsuits can take a long time to play out and attorney fees can quickly rack up. It is always best practice to discuss all the details of taking a settlement vs. not taking a settlement with your attorney.

How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

In the state of Illinois, you have 2 years from the date of the injury occurring to file a lawsuit. This is very important! If you suffer any type of serious injury on the job, you need to have it evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible. If an injury gets worse over time you may not be able to file a lawsuit.

How Do You File a Personal Injury Claim?

Filing a personal injury lawsuit can be difficult and hiring an attorney is recommended to make sure your case is presented correctly.

Personal Injury attorneys will file a personal injury lawsuit based on your injury, informing the court and the defending party. This step gets things in motion and the personal injury lawyer will file any documents that directly pertain to the claim.

Defendants will normally file a response to the claims but they don’t necessarily have to answer any of the allegations. A motion to dismiss the lawsuit can also be filed by a defending party, which won’t happen if your personal injury attorney has legitimate information on your situation. Again, hiring a specialized personal injury attorney is crucial for any personal injury case.

How Do Out of Court Personal Injury Settlements Work?

Out-of-court settlements (or informal settlements) are fairly straightforward. The two parties sit down, face-to-face or digitally, and work out an agreement. If an agreement is reached, a document is drawn up to ensure the plaintiff can’t take further legal action on the lawsuit.

What are the Pros and Cons of Informal Personal Injury Settlements?

While a quick settlement sounds like a great way to end a personal injury lawsuit fast, there are some cons that go along with the pros.

The pros include:

  • Time. Informal out-of-court settlements are usually finished very quickly.
  • Exact settlement knowledge. Plaintiffs settle when they are offered compensation that is reasonable to their needs.
  • Money. The less time spent in court, the less time you have to pay attorneys for.

The cons include:

  • No further legal action can be taken. If a settlement is accepted, followed by more bad news on a personal injury situation, nothing can be done. Taking a settlement should be carefully considered with the aid of a personal injury attorney.
  • Getting less. While some settlements may seem attractive, they are often drawn up to pay out less than a final ruling in court would designate. While moving a case through court can take time and money it may be worth it if you have a strong case.
  • Money. Paying legal fees for the duration of a full personal injury lawsuit can be very expensive. Make sure to have a time frame in hand before moving forward with a difficult personal injury lawsuit.

The biggest takeaway from the pros and cons is legal fees. If your case moves forward in court, it can take a long time to get to the finish line. Make sure you speak to your attorney about how long a full-on court battle may take when considering your options.

Personal Injury Attorneys

Finding a good personal injury attorney is the key when filing a personal injury lawsuit. You will want to consult with a lawyer before hiring them. Remember; consulting with an attorney does not make them your attorney. If you don’t like what a consulting lawyer has to say you can always seek a second opinion. Find someone who is on your side.

There are also personal injury attorneys who specialize in specific types of cases. If you are dealing with a specific injury or an injury caused by a specific type of incident you may want to search for an attorney who specializes in your situation.

Peter Wachowski, Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another person or entity, our experienced attorneys can help you receive compensation for the damages you have suffered. Get a free case review by calling 866-699-3339 ‌or‌ ‌complete‌ ‌the‌‌ ‌case‌ ‌request‌ ‌form‌.‌

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