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How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

How to File a Personal Injury LawsuitHow to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Philadelphia

Imagine slipping on an icy sidewalk outside a Center City restaurant in Philadelphia. As you pick yourself up, nursing a sprained wrist, your mind races with questions, one of which is, "How do I file a personal injury lawsuit?" The process, governed by intricate laws unique to Pennsylvania, is anything but straightforward. In this blog post, we'll walk you through the necessary steps while pointing out situations where having a skilled Philadelphia personal injury lawyer, such as those at van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, can be invaluable.

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Step 1: Gather Evidence

Firstly, document everything—photos, medical reports, and eyewitness accounts. While this may seem simple, accurately gathering evidence can be challenging. Consider the 'duty of care' laws in Pennsylvania; it's not just about proving the harm, but also that the defendant owed you a duty. The right lawyer can help you build a robust case by collecting the most pertinent evidence.

Step 2: Notify the Parties Involved

It's essential to notify the person or entity you believe to be responsible for your injury. But tread carefully; any miscommunication can be used against you. Legal experts can assist you in framing your communication in a manner that is neither confrontational nor self-incriminating.

Step 3: Filing an Initial Complaint

In Pennsylvania, the formal process begins when you file an initial complaint with the court. Sounds simple, right? Well, the format and content of this document are highly specific, and a mistake here could jeopardize your entire case. This is where a knowledgeable lawyer becomes indispensable.

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  • Two-Time Success: A Consistent Legal Powerhouse
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    “These guys are the dream team of Philadelphia. I’ve had two injury cases taken care of by these guys, and the end result was exactly what I was promised. I thank god for having such efficient attorneys. I will continue to recommend friends and family because every case is treated as if it is the biggest case.”

    - Kevin R. / Client
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    "Wonderful experience with this law firm after getting hit last summer. The whole staff is on top of things and communicates well. A special shoutout to the attorney who handled my case and negotiated my medical bills. I was able to get the care and treatment I needed with minimal stress because they handled it all!"

    - Amanda A. / Client
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    "Going with this law firm for my auto accident case was the best advice anyone ever gave me. I was very impressed with my results and the way they handled my case and me."

    - Ant F. / Client
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    “I wanted to thank you for the excellent work you did as my attorney with the settlement of my automobile accident. I know you have a lot of clients, so your prompt responses and attention to detail really meant a lot to me.”

    - Jarrett H. / Client

Step 4: Discovery Process

After the complaint, both parties gather evidence in what is known as the 'discovery process.' Here, the complexity ramps up. Legal procedures like depositions, interrogatories, and document requests come into play. Understanding Pennsylvania law and rules of civil procedure is essential, another reason why skilled legal counsel is crucial.

Step 5: Negotiation and Settlement

Before going to trial, most parties attempt to settle. Given the intricacies of Pennsylvania's laws on comparative negligence or limitations on damages, a lawyer can be instrumental in negotiating a favorable settlement.

Step 6: Going to Trial

If a settlement is not reached, your case goes to trial. This is perhaps the most complicated phase, steeped in legal formalities and courtroom decorum. Whether you're in a Philadelphia courtroom or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, you'll want a lawyer who knows local laws like the back of their hand.

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Why Choose van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim?

Our legal team brings an unparalleled understanding of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania legal landscape. We don't merely offer legal advice; we advocate fiercely for your rights throughout the complicated lawsuit filing process.

The Unasked Question: What Happens After the Trial?

You might be asking, "How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?" but an equally important, yet unasked, question is, "What happens after the trial?" Lawsuits often take emotional and psychological tolls, and true closure extends beyond the courtroom. At van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, we provide not just legal expertise but comprehensive support for all aspects of your case.

Navigating a personal injury lawsuit in Philadelphia without expert legal assistance is akin to sailing a ship without a compass. If you find yourself in the difficult situation of having to file a personal injury lawsuit, do not hesitate to reach out to van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim for a free consultation. We’re here to guide you every step of the way.

We Don't Get Paid Unless We Win Your Case.


At van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, we proudly extend our personal injury legal services across a broad range of locations throughout Pennsylvania, ensuring that wherever you are, top-notch legal support is never far away. Below is a concise list of the geographic locations that detail our offerings:

Click on your locality to learn how our unrivaled experience in personal injury law is tailored to meet the unique needs of residents in these specific areas.

Notable Case Results

Always Pursing the Best Possible Outcome

Assault Injury

$1 Million

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$10 Million

Bicycle Accident

$4.8 Million

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In the Media

Throughout the years, our firm and our individual attorneys have been recognized in both local and national media for our extensive legal knowledge, experience, and record of success. Our attorneys frequently appear in the media to provide insights and information on various legal matters, including high-profile cases.

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Choosing the Right Firm Can Make All the Difference

  • Unrivaled Record of SuccessWe have won tens of millions of dollars for injured victims, and have achieved countless "not guilty" verdicts for clients faced with criminal charges.
  • No Challenge too BigOur firm has handled some of the biggest cases in country, including representing the President of the United States.
  • Personalized RepresentationWe understand that every case is unique. Therefore, we tailor our approach based on the facts of the case and the needs of our client.
  • Uncompromising PassionOur competitive nature is one of our strongest qualities. You can be confident that no other firm will outwork our team.
  • Holistic ApproachNot only do we want to excel legally for the client, but we also want to make sure we are strengthening their mind, body and spirt.
  • Supporting the CommunityOur team engages in many community events and regularly donates time and resources to many charitable organizations in Philadelphia.

Talk to Our Experienced Team

Home to Philadelphia’s most accomplished attorneys, van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim pairs diverse practice experience with a passion-driven, comprehensive law practice—all for the client’s benefit.

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