As I mentioned in my blog post titled: “What are the Eight Stages in a Personal Injury Claim?” many clients only reach Stage 4. To refresh your memory, Stage 4 is when we come to a final settlement agreement with the insurance company/companies.

If and when the insurance company denies liability altogether, that is when we discuss the necessity of filing a lawsuit.

If our client agrees to this, we will file the “plaintiff’s” complaint (the lawsuit). The complaint is the initial pleading which declares that the plaintiff is the one who is suing and also names the person or entity being sued – the defendant/defendants, driver/drivers, owner/owners, and/or the uninsured motorist policy carrier.

Another important part in filing a lawsuit is the jurisdictional amount. In the complaint, we are required to state if the damage that was caused is less than or greater than $15,000.00. If it is less than $15,000.00, it would go to County Court. If it is greater than $15,000.00, then it goes to Circuit Court. The majority of our cases are filed in Circuit Court.

The final factors regarding filing a lawsuit are the venue; the event; the statement of injuries; and, the request for relief. The Venue is the county we elect to file the lawsuit. The Event is the suing of the defendants and why they are responsible for the damage that has been caused to the plaintiff. The Statement of Injuries is simply a general overview of the injuries sustained. Last but not least, is the Request for Relief. This is where we request a judgment to be granted so that our client, the plaintiff, may get the compensation they deserve for their injuries, pain and suffering.

That, in a nutshell, is the fifth stage of a personal injury claim – filing a Lawsuit. In my next post, I will talk about the Sixth Stage-Filing the Initial Set of Discovery.

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.