HOW DO I FILE MY INITIAL PERSONAL INJURY COMPLAINT?

When filing a personal injury complaint, one of the most important steps is the initial complaint document. Whether your injury is a result of a car accident, motorcycle accident, construction accident, workplace accident, a defective product, a slip and fall, or a drunk driver, your initial complaint will be written relatively similarly to what we outline below. While you will most likely have an experienced Morris County personal injury attorney draft and file it for you, it's important that you have an understanding of what goes into the initial complaint document.

The initial personal injury complaint seeks to outline to the court the facts of your case, and exactly how the defendant's negligence was a breach of law, and how it caused your injury. Each state and jurisdiction has their own requirements for filing this document, so when pursuing a Morris County personal injury claim it is important that you have an attorney familiar with the local courts and procedures.

Filing in the Correct Court

First and foremost, your personal injury complaint must establish why you are filing it in that particular jurisdiction. A personal injury complaint can be filed in the jurisdiction where the plaintiff (you) lives, or in the jurisdiction where the accident took place. An experienced Morristown personal injury lawyer can help you determine which venue may be more advantageous for filing your claim.

Establishing the Facts of Your Personal Injury Case

The following section of your personal injury complaint will establish the facts of your case as well as the relationship between you and the negligent party. This section does not allege wrongdoing or negligence, rather only seeks to outline the details of your case. Each fact will be numbered, and will look something like this:

  1. Around 4:00 pm December 14th, Plaintiff was crossing the intersection of Plainsview Rd. and Main Ave, headed North.
  2. Plaintiff verified that they had the right of way, and entered the crosswalk.
  3. Defendant has been an employee of Business Inc since August 2015.
  4. Defendant was driving a company truck, and at the time of the accident was performing company work.
  5. Defendant failed to stop at the red light of the Plainsview Rd. and Main Ave. intersection, and struck and injured the plaintiff.

Here, we have outlined the relevant facts of the case, without providing unnecessary details, and also without alleging negligence or guilt, simply what happened.

Establishing Liability

The following section is where your personal injury lawyer will assert negligence on the part of the defendant. They will outline each separate instance of liability, and which parties are responsible for the injuries of the plaintiff.

Asserting Damages

The final section of your personal injury complaint, and perhaps the most important, will outline the different kinds of damages you are seeking as a result of your injury. Damages most often include compensation for medical expenses, lost income or future income as a result of your injury, and compensation for your pain and suffering. Depending on the jurisdiction, your lawyer may or may not include an exact dollar amount for each of these items. If they do, it is usually an over-estimated amount so as to prevent a jury from being limited in what they can reward.

Contact a Morris County Personal Injury Lawyer Today

While your personal injury complaint is straightforward in its goals, it is extremely important that it is drafted correctly, contains all the relevant facts without including details which the defense can use to obscure your case, and is clear and concise.

Founding partner Robert A. Smith of Smith & Doran personally handles all personal injury cases. He is a Certified Civil trial attorney, meaning that he specializes in civil court cases, including accident and injury cases of any kind. It is an accolade given by the New Jersey Supreme Court to only 2% of the active lawyers in the state.

To schedule a cost-free consultation about your personal injury case with Robert Smith today, contact Smith & Doran online or through our Morristown offices at 973-261-6254.

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The Law Offices of Smith & Doran, P.C.
60 Washington Street, Suite 302
Morristown, NJ 07960

Phone: 973-532-2661
Fax: 973-292-9168
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