What Happens When You Sue Someone?

Almost all car accident situations are resolved outside of court. However, it's comforting to know that you can take someone to court if you are not able to settle the case. Filing a suit is but a single action in the process of taking someone to court. Read on for more information.

Don't Wait Too Long

Personal injury cases come with an expiration date. The statute of limitations stops plaintiffs from seeking compensation after a certain period. The time you must take action varies from state to state. It's important to keep up with how much time has elapsed since your accident in the state in which the accident occurred.

Settling is Still Possible

Even though your personal injury lawyer filed suit against the other driver and their insurer, you can still settle the case. Up until the time the jury has handed down a verdict, you can agree to a settlement. Many times, settlement offers come during discovery or even during the trial. Keep that in mind as you move forward in your lawsuit.

Filing the Petition

The document that signals the beginning of a court action is known either as a petition, a complaint, a prayer for relief, or by other names. This document opens the court case, and it contains a lot of information:

  • The parties involved in the suit
  • The jurisdiction, which is the name of the court responsible for the suit
  • The claims of the plaintiff, which are the reasons why the suit is being filed
  • Demand, prayer, or judgment, which is the amount of money you are asking to be paid


The sharing of information about the case is part of the pretrial process. Discovery involves the trading of information about witnesses, evidence, documents, and more. This can take a long time to be finished, depending on the complexity of your case. Your personal injury lawyer will comply with discovery procedures. However, you may be asked to testify at a deposition.

A deposition consists of you and others being questioned under oath about the accident, your treatment, your damages, and more. Your lawyer will prepare you for the meeting by practicing with you and giving you an idea of what to expect. For instance, you may be asked about the outlook for the future with regard to your injuries. Future medical treatment costs are an important part of your compensation.

Once discovery is over, a jury is chosen, and the trial begins. To find out more about the lawsuit process, speak to your personal injury attorney.