September 25, 2022

Personal Injury Lawsuits in Philadelphia, PA: Understanding the Plaintiff and Defendant in Your Case

The majority of personal injury cases are settled outside of court. But some cases require court intervention to be settled. If you sustained personal injuries due to somebody else’s fault, Philadelphia, PA personal injury attorneys can file a lawsuit for you. But you should determine the parties involved first and their respective roles. 

Who are the Plaintiffs in Personal injury Lawsuits?

In a personal injury lawsuit, the injured party is the plaintiff. For instance, if you sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident that occurred in a hotel, you will be the plaintiff. Additionally, a plaintiff can also be an individual who suffered injuries due to a defective product. In personal injury cases, the plaintiff can be more than one party. This can in accidents such as a commercial truck accident that involves several parties. 

Who are the Defendants?

The defendants in personal injury cases are those who allegedly cause the plaintiffs’ injuries. Their actions directly resulted in the injuries and damages sustained by the plaintiff. Again, a personal injury case can have more than one defendant. This can happen in accidents such as traffic accidents, premises liability claims, product liability claims, and others.

Any individual or entity who harms another person could be a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit. The decision on the liability for the injuries sustained will be decided by the jury. 

What to Expect After Filing a Personal injury Lawsuit?

Every personal injury case is different. But the following are common steps involved:

  • Seeking a response from the defendant. As the defendant in the case, you will be allowed to respond to the accusations in the complaint. Also, you may file a counterclaim.
  • Exchanging information. During the discovery stage, every party may request documents and information from each other. The evidence they collect can help them determine how strong their respective cases are.
  • Negotiating settlements. Both parties can negotiate a settlement following the discovery phase. Also, they can agree to enter arbitration or mediation to settle the injury case. 
  • Filing pretrial motions. A pretrial motion is meant to resolve legal problems before the start of the official trial. For instance, the defendant can file a motion to suppress evidence or dismiss the case. 
  • Getting the final decision from a jury. During the personal injury trial, every party presents their case. The jury will decide whether or not the defendant is liable for your damages. If a party is not happy with the result, they can file an appeal.