Where Should My Lawsuit Be Filed?
Personal injury law can be complex, and it can be difficult to know what to do when you are injured. The person or business that caused you harm should be made to pay, but the path to take is often unclear. You should seek the help of a personal injury attorney for all but the most minor of accidents, but regardless of any legal support you get, it can help to understand what will happen and where it will happen. Read on to learn more about where you can go to seek justice for your injuries.
Small Claims Court
If the amount of money you are seeking for your injuries or cause is relatively low, you might be able to get paid by taking your case to small claims court. Each state has its own dollar amount limits for trying cases in small claims court, and people usually appear in court without a lawyer. Be sure to add up all the ways the accident has affected your life to determine your money damages when deciding whether or not to use small claims court.
If your case falls below the dollar limit, small claims court provides victims with a far faster and less-expensive manner of being paid money damages than a civil trial. The events in small claims court are usually more informal, and your case is often resolved in just one appearance. Contact your county clerk's office to learn more about proceeding with a small claims court case.
For higher level claims, the case must be filed in the state's civil court system. Since this is where things can get confusing, it might be best to consult with a personal injury attorney for help. The case should be brought in the state and district where the accident occurred, which may not necessarily be the state where you reside.
Filing Your Court Case
The preparation of documents that will form your lawsuit can be complex. It usually consists of your complaint, which is where you state how you have been wronged and what you expect from the other party. You will be known as the plaintiff, and the other party will be known as the defendant in all paperwork and during the trial. The paperwork gets filed at the proper location, and the defendant is served with a copy of the filing.
Your case is now in progress, but the progress can be slow. You can expect the pretrial preparations to go on for weeks if not months before you see your first day in court. Speak to a personal injury lawyer about your case and find out more about what to expect when you file your case.