Personal injury cases cover a wide area of law, but there are some basics to understand when you are bringing a charge against someone. When pressing charges for personal injury you should have a lawyer present, as legal advice is essential when claiming funds to cover your medical bills or any work missed. Any personal injury law suit must be filed by within two or three years of the injury.
In order to claim on a personal injury, you must file a summons and complaint. The complaint must be made in a court in the state in which your injury happened, or in a state with some connection to the defendant. The summons is a notice sent to the defendant to appear in court to respond to your complaint. The summons will be delivered by a state official or process server to the defendent, who must respond in writing. This will prompt the court to set a date for the first hearing.
Personal injury cases are usually based on negligence, intentional tort, or strict liability. You must prove certain elements of these in order for your claim to be valid. For negligence, you must prove that the defendant failed to fulfil a duty to you, whether that is that they neglected to drive safely on the roads, or provide you with the right equipment for a work place injury. An intentional tort is proved by you showing that the defendant intentionally meant to harm you, say by throwing a punch. Sometimes cases are won without proving the defendant was at fault, this is called "strict liability", and could apply if you were injured by a faulty product.