In most cases, it is best to settle legal disputes outside of the courts, rather than going down the often complicated path of litigation. However, if all reasonable steps have been exhausted in trying to agree on an out-of-court settlement, it becomes necessary to prepare for a lawsuit. With the prospect of litigation looming, all parties should gather the information necessary prior to going to the courthouse.
If you decide to pursue a lawsuit, you will fill the role of plaintiff, which means having the burden of proof placed on you. This means it is up to you to prove to the courts that you are entitled to compensation as a result of the other party’s negligent behavior. In order to prove your claim, you should prepare the following information:
Complete names and addresses Since the court cannot properly render a judgment when parties are not adequately identified in the complaint, the full names and address of every individual or entity included in the claim are vital. If the defendant is an individual, get their full name as well as their residence and work addresses. If the defendant you are filing the claim against is a business or organization, research if it is a registered company. Your complaint will be served on its registered managing agent, general partner, director or officer. Whether it is a partnership or sole proprietorship, you should individually name all the persons involved.
Basis of your claim Together with the amount you intend to recover for damages, supplement your claim with medical records, police reports and other documentation. You should also state the laws and statutes that were violated by the defendant. Since all of these facts shall still be proved in court during the trial, you need not point out every single detail. However, a simple yet precise statement of the basis of your claim with the relevant dates and events shall give you a strong foundation.
Filing fees By the time you have gathered the necessary information, you can ask for the appropriate forms from the clerk of court, pay the filing fee, and file your lawsuit. You will also be asked to sign a sworn affidavit stating that you have exerted genuine efforts to settle the claim. Since gathering all the information needed to file a claim can be a long and stressful process, it is highly recommended to hire a personal injury lawyer to assist you.
A personal injury lawyer can help you gather the relevant information faster than if you go about it yourself and can also assist you at every stage of the claim process, as a personal injury lawyer will have experience handling claims similar to yours.