Proper Pleading in Personal Injury

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To initiate a lawsuit, a plaintiff must issue and serve a statement of claim.

Cambridge Dictionary defines a statement of claim as “a document sent to a court of law saying why a person is bringing a legal action against someone and what they want from them.”

The Plaintiff’s statement of claim must allege a wrong that is recognized by the law. For example, you cannot sue someone over a broken heart. But, you can sue someone for carelessly hitting your car.

As the first step to resolving a dispute, a statement of claim must include the necessary facts in support of the claim.

Generally a personal injury claim follows this structure:

  1. Identification of the parties, which establishes the jurisdiction of the court;
  2. Identification of the place of the accident (if residence does not establish jurisdiction, then the identification of the place of the accident establishes jurisdiction);
  3. Description of the event leading up to the injury: date, time, location, and the elements specific to the cause of action;
  4. Allegation that the event was caused solely by the negligence of the defendant and a list the particulars;
  5. Allegation that the event resulted in personal injury to the plaintiff and a description of the injuries; and
  6. Description of the loss.

Too many facts and you will have pleaded evidence. Too little facts and you are at risk of a motion to strike your pleading.

 

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