Timeline of an Injury Lawsuit

If you have been injured and it’s someone else’s fault, you can get legal help to get the at-fault party to pay for your medical expenses or damages. Also called trial lawyers, these professionals are trained to get you the compensation you deserve.

Who needs personal injury representation?

These lawyers serve people who have been injured in an accident where someone else could be found at fault. That could mean physical injury or psychological.

Some common cases come from people injured in slip and fall accidents, car collision accidents, injuries caused by a defective product, injuries in the workplace, or injury from professional malpractice.

Medical malpractice law is a specific type of personal injury. You can find a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice if you have experienced some such injustice.

Lawyer Qualifications

Once you become a lawyer (you pass the bar exam in your state) you can become a trial lawyer if you qualify to practice law in the jurisdiction you want to practice in and pass an ethics examination. You must also take continuing legal education (CLE) classes to stay updated.

You may need a certification in personal injury law to show that you have specialized. Even if this is not required by your jurisdiction, it can demonstrate your knowledge and ability to potential clients. You could also seek a certification to become a Certified Trial Attorney.

Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline

Many personal injury cases are settled without having to go into trial. These are the general steps a personal injury lawsuit follows.

Medical Treatment

You receive medical treatment, physical or psychological, after you have sustained an injury. This will give your lawyer evidence of the injury to present in the trial.

Consult with a Lawyer

Speak with a lawyer about your claim and discuss what your options may be and how strong your case is. If you feel comfortable negotiating yourself, you can do that after you meet with a lawyer.

Lawyer Reviews Claim and Medical Records

Your lawyer will interview you to learn everything about the injury. Answer all of their questions completely. They will want to view your medical records relating to the case and any related conditions, which could take months to access.

Lawyer Considers Making Demand and Filing

Your lawyer will seek a settlement with the other party once you have recovered as well as possible. That lets them know how much your case is worth and how much to ask for.

The Lawsuit is Filed

Filing the lawsuit starts the wait until you make it to trial. The lawsuit must be filed within your state’s statute of limitations for the particular injury.

Each Party Investigates

Both sides’ lawyers will review the legal claims and defenses.

Mediation and Negotiation

The lawyers will meet to discuss a settlement, and may need mediation to reach an agreement. If no settlement is reached, the case will go to trial.


Once your case is in trial, you can expect the case to be discussed in half-day increments. The trial ends when a decision is reached and a judgment is made.


Alex is the co-author of 100 Greatest Plays, 100 Greatest Cricketers, 100 Greatest Films and 100 Greatest Moments. He has written for a wide variety of publications including The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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