Process of a Personal Injury Claim

Blank form on desk that says Accident report with a pen laying on top
You need to be aware of your personal injury claim process in order to feel at ease. Let’s examine the course that most legal claims take.

Steps in a Personal Injury Case

Normally, in Washington, D.C., a motorist who is injured in personal injury contacts their insurer to be compensated. In a no-fault state, the damages are recovered up to the limits of the policy. The problem is that the limits are low, and if you are seriously injured or hospitalized, you need to lodge a lawsuit against the at-fault party to get the compensation you deserve. The remainder of this article will focus on how that process works.

You need to be aware of your personal injury claim process in order to feel at ease. Any kind of accident is difficult enough, but not knowing what will happen next is even harder. Let’s examine the course that most legal claims take.

Accident Types

Various types of accidents can occur. Among other things, a slipped disc can result when you fall in a grocery store, a defective drug or device can cause harm or a traffic accident can injure you. What matters most is that you suffer injuries because of another’s mistake. Legally, this mistake is called negligence, and it refers to someone who intentionally or accidentally caused your injuries. An injured party who files a claim must prove the negligence of the at-fault party (the defendant) in order to establish a claim.

Finding a Lawyer

A case review is a meeting between the injured party and an attorney to assess their damages. In this consultation, the attorney can learn more about the accident, and the injured person has a chance to ask questions. To determine whether the case is viable, an attorney will first look for evidence to prove that the negligent party is at fault. Once it is determined that there is a case, the lawyer and the injured party sign and approve a fee agreement.

The Complaint Is Filed

The attorney files a complaint in civil court against the responsible party. After this, the attorney serves the same complaint on the defendant and the server records that the at-fault party has received the complaint. The document includes instructions as to when the defendant should appear in court.

When the At-Fault Party Receives the Complaint They Notify their Insurer

A defendant must contact his or her insurance company as soon as he or she receives the complaint. The defendant has the option of retaining their own attorney or having one provided by their insurer represent them, and both are referred to as defense attorneys.

Fees in a Personal Injury Claim

Plaintiff’s attorneys work on what is called a contingency basis in personal injury lawsuits, and the attorneys don’t get paid until the case is won. A defendant may also hire an outside defense attorney who is paid on an hourly basis, or a defense attorney may also be provided by the insurance company.

Discovery Process

A personal injury case involves a lot of information provided by both sides. It is legal for both the plaintiff and defendant to have access to this information. It is gathered as part of the discovery process.

Process of Negotiation

In many cases, the parties settle their disputes outside of court. A fair settlement between both sides will prevent the case from proceeding to court.

Taking the Personal Injury Claim to Court

In the absence of successful negotiations, the case is taken to court. Depending on the circumstances, it might take several days or longer. A jury or judge’s verdict and compensation can either be appealed by the plaintiff or the defendant to a different court.

Roeser Law Firm

We at the Roeser Law Firm go the extra mile to assist our clients through the claim process. Our staff keeps them informed about the progress of their case and is available to answer any questions they may have. We can help if you have been injured by the negligence of a person or entity. Contact us at (202) 660-4070 to schedule a free case review or contact us online

Zeke Roeser


3000 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 140
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 660-4070