Here is an explanation of what it takes to start a personal injury lawsuit.
If you need to sue someone else who is responsible for your personal injuries, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit. But what exactly does that involve? Hiring a personal injury attorney will answer all your questions. But before you find an attorney, here is an overview of beginning a personal injury cause of action.
One of the most important skills of a personal injury attorney is to identify what legal causes of action you may have. But before the attorney can do this, he or she must figure out exactly what happened to you. During this information gathering session, you will need to answer the five W’s: who, what, when, where and why.
You may not have all the information and that’s perfectly okay. Your attorney won’t expect you to know it all. However, you are the best source of information as to what happened to you and who might be responsible. The exact information process will depend on your specific attorney, but it usually involves answering questions over the phone, in person or on a questionnaire.
After the initial consultation, you and your attorney will need to get more information. This includes asking for copies of medical records, police reports and possibly talking to witnesses. In some situations, your attorney may hire professionals to help gather and interpret information, such as private investigators, medical professionals, and accountants. Who these professionals are will depend on what happened to you. For example, if you were the victim of medical malpractice, your attorney might need a nurse or doctor to help identify what mistakes took place that led to your injuries.
Crafting Legal Arguments
With the information obtained, your attorney can develop the specific legal arguments (called “torts” in the legal world) that support your claim for compensation for your personal injuries. Examples of personal injury torts include negligence, battery, wrongful death, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, products liability and strict liability. To make these legal arguments, you will need to have the facts to support them in court. Your attorney will make this determination with your input.
Prepare the Complaint
Now we get into the more serious legal stuff: writing the complaint. The complaint is a type of pleading, which is a legal document that sets out what your legal issue is. In other words, it tells the court what you seek compensation for and why. The complaint will set out who you are, your injuries, who you believe the responsible party is, what they did to make them responsible for your injuries and the legal tort theories that allow the court to grant you the compensation you seek.
The complaint is typically written as a series of numbered paragraphs and often has exhibits attached to bolster your legal and factual arguments. After your attorney finishes writing the complaint, you can file it with the court to officially begin your personal injury litigation.
Schedule your complimentary consultation with the Wilbanks Law Firm, P.C. about a personal injury lawsuit by calling (706) 335-2355 now.