When you experience a wrong at the hands of another person or entity, you deserve rightful compensation. From workplace discrimination to medical malpractice, there are dozens of reasons for personal injury lawsuits. Here is how to file a lawsuit against someone.
Before pursuing a lawsuit against another person, it is vital to understand precisely what a lawsuit is. Without this foundational knowledge, the legal jargon and court proceedings can leave you feeling out of the loop. Avoid confusion with a quick introduction to lawsuits and where you fit in.
A lawsuit is a formal legal process whereby the plaintiff levels a claim against the defendant in the hopes of commensurate reparation. In essence, a lawsuit—or suit for short—begins with some harmful event. The defendant harmed the plaintiff, and the hurt person brings their claim or dispute before a court for adjudication. The legal process ensues, culminating in a verdict which the court orders and enforces so that defendant pays for the damages.
Every lawsuit operates with three essential components: liability, damages, and remedy. Each of these describes a pillar of the legal argument that must stand for the lawsuit to hold its water.
The liability describes the defendant’s role in keeping people safe. This could mean keeping their premises free from debris, avoiding harmful malpractice, or abstaining from negligent practices. So, liability outlines the guilty party’s extent of responsibility, which includes you as the plaintiff who became hurt.
Damages include all harm—physical and emotional—which the plaintiff experienced at the hand of the defendant. A doctor performs unnecessary surgery that paralyzes a patient. An employer discriminates against women in the workplace. A business owner leaves liquid pooled without warning and causes a customer to fall and hit their head. Each of these scenarios involves defined damage that a victim experienced. This victim becomes the plaintiff who sues the at-fault party for the damages.
The remedy—also known as the collection—is the asset which the plaintiff is suing for. Suppose a car rear-ends you on the road, giving you whiplash and a fractured wrist. You will seek medical attention in the immediate aftermath, but you will likely also go after the at-fault driver for financial compensation. You now have medical bills and car repairs to pay for which they caused. The other driver’s insurance will pay you up to the driver’s policy limits and give you the financial compensation you deserve. Though this may require a bit of back and forth with legal teams, you will receive a remedy for the damages the other person caused. The remedy is the same for all lawsuits and is the exact sum or recompense you ask of the defendant.
Every lawsuit begins with you, the plaintiff. You are the one who must decide whether to pursue charges and what you want out of the situation. The first steps are critical and, if done correctly, can set you up for legal success.
The first thing you’ll want to do is organize your information. You should find all documentation of the incident, information about the individual or business that harmed you, and any eyewitness reports. It would help if you also took some time to write down all you can remember about the incident. Who was there? What role did everyone play? What happened before and after the harmful action? Have you done anything about the incident since it happened? It is vital to ask yourself all of these questions, and more. Without a decent answer to these questions, you cannot build a solid foundation for a lawsuit.
Once you have everything clear in your mind, it is time to reach out to a legal professional. You can contact one at any time, but it is most helpful to do so with all the information laid out in front of you. A lawyer is specially trained to handle lawsuits and pursue your best interests in front of the other party. Contact us at Rossman Law Group to request a free consultation today.
A claim is a formal document that outlines the legally enforceable right to compensation. This is the beginning of your lawsuit and delineates the incident and expected recompense. This is how you make a claim with your lawyer.
You will want to work with a lawyer to put all the pieces of your legal puzzle together. This includes gathering the evidence, writing the claim, and sending it to the proper authorities. Your lawyer will be thorough and ask for your help supplying information along the way. Once you both feel satisfied that you have enough for a full-on lawsuit, you can file the suit.
You cannot simply foist a lawsuit against another person. There are strict procedures you must follow that guarantee your claim reaches the defendant. When you file a lawsuit, you must first organize all your documents, evidence, and information. Double- and triple-check with your lawyer that everything is in place. Then, once you have all your ducks in a row, you can discuss how best to proceed with your lawyer.
Though a legal professional will likely handle the filing process for you, it is best to understand what is happening with your paperwork in the system. They will typically decide whether to file your case with a federal or state court, depending on the charges. You’ll also want to know if the court has power and jurisdiction over the defendant. You should work with your attorney and file the lawsuit on time so you do not miss any statutes of limitations on your case.
Knowing how to file a lawsuit against someone equips you with the knowledge to fight for your dignity. The legal process can feel daunting and confusing, so find legal representation that will stand by your side. If you need an advocate to coordinate and organize your lawsuit, reach out to us at Rossman Law Group. Our team of Idaho attorneys has experience in many forms of personal injury law, and we are ready to serve you.