Filing A Suit: What That Means And What To Expect

If you been harmed by someone, whether it was a negligent business or a bad driver, you are entitled to be "made whole." The means to do so is offered through the civil court system, and being made whole can be equated to getting paid money to help pay for related expenses and to ease your pain and suffering. Personal injury cases settle outside of court all the time, but if you need to file a lawsuit, here is what to know and what to expect.

The complaint

The actual name of the document known colloquially as a lawsuit varies, but it is often called either a complaint or a petition. When efforts to resolve issues without filing suit have floundered, a personal injury lawyer, like an auto injury lawyer, prepares this document that is filed in court, and a copy is provided to the other party. Typically, the complaint includes these aspects:

1. The identifying information about the parties, which is you (the plaintiff) and the driver along with their insurance company (the defendants).

2. Court identification that states the exact name of the presiding court along with other jurisdictional information explaining why the matter is appropriate for that court. Cases are filed in the wrong court all the time, and this issue helps the parties immediately identify problems with the venue.

3. Claims: A list of facts about the case that shows who was at fault and why they were at fault.

4. Demand for judgment (or prayer for relief) is where the dollar amount you expect to be paid for your damages is stated.

Stating fault

If you get a chance to actually read through the text of the suit, you will note a good amount of legalese which appears in almost all personal injury suits. The most important part of the complaint is undoubtedly the list of facts that show fault on the part of the other guy. You will notice that these facts are stated as more than just mere allegations; these facts are true to the best of your knowledge and are based on all the information available at the time the case was filed. This is not the time to do lengthy explanations of the case, so take heart if you feel that the document looks a bit vague.

Before court begins

There is actually a great deal of activity that occurs before court starts, and this is where the details missing in the complaint are addressed. Discovery involves taking apart the case and sharing information and evidence between both parties in addition to a deposition where testimony is provided. Discovery can present enough evidence and facts to both parties that a settlement may be offered to avoid taking the case to court.

To learn more about the lawsuit process, speak with your personal injury lawyer right away.