What to Expect From the Personal Injury Claims Process in PA

November 9, 2022

What to Expect From the Personal Injury Claims Process in PA

After you have been injured by the negligence or legal fault of another party, you may be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your financial and personal losses. Although every personal injury claim has its own timeline, here is the full step-by-step process of pursuing a personal injury claim in Pennsylvania. 

Investigate the Case

Personal injury cases begin with a thorough investigation of the facts and circumstances underlying your injury. You will want to secure evidence that you can use to prove your right to financial compensation. This may include photos or videos from the accident scene, police reports or accident/incident reports, and eyewitness testimony. You will also want to gather medical records from your treatment to document your injuries, as well as bills, invoices, receipts, and pay stubs, or income statements to tally up your financial expenses. In some cases, you or your attorney might also hire expert witnesses to investigate technical aspects of your case and offer opinion testimony. 

Send a Demand Letter

Once you have secured and organized your evidence into a coherent legal claim, you and your attorney will send a formal demand letter to the party or parties at fault for your injuries and losses, or to the insurance companies. The demand letter put the opposing parties on notice of your claim. In the letter, you and your attorney will lay out the evidence in the case, explain how it proves your right to compensation, and demand a certain sum of compensation for your injuries and losses. 

Negotiate a Settlement

The demand letter usually kicks off the process of settlement negotiations, where both sides in a personal injury case trade counter-offers to try to reach a mutually agreeable settlement figure. In some cases, parties may turn to mediation services to help facilitate the settlement process. 

File a Complaint

If a settlement cannot be reached, you will eventually need to file a lawsuit in court to continue pursuing your personal injury claim. A personal injury lawsuit begins with the complaint, which is the formal document that:

  • Identifies you and the opposing parties (defendants) in the case
  • Provides a description of what you believe happened in the accident
  • Provides a description of the injuries and losses you suffered
  • Demands relief from the court, such as financial compensation

The defendant or defendants in the case will have the right to file a responding document, known as an answer, to admit to or contest the allegations in your complaint. 


After the initial pleadings are filed in court, a personal injury lawsuit proceeds to discovery, which is the stage of a lawsuit in which the parties exchange information and documents with one another and take depositions of relevant witnesses. Discovery is intended to help identify the issues in dispute between the parties, such as liability for your injuries or the extent of losses you suffered. 

Discovery can often lead to a resolution of a personal injury claim by either facilitating a negotiated settlement or supporting a motion for summary judgment, in which the court rules in favor of one of the parties after finding no material facts in dispute and determining that the facts require judgment for one side as a matter of law. 


Eventually, a personal injury lawsuit will reach trial, where the parties can present their cases to a jury, or a judge sitting as a fact-finder, and cross-examine each side’s witnesses.

Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Case in Pennsylvania

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. represent clients injured in Pittsburgh and the surrounding Western PA counties. Call (412) 766-1455 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Home visits can be arranged in certain situations. 

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.