Civil Procedure in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Civil Procedure as it relates to a personal injury lawsuit is the “how” of suing someone after you have been injured by another’s negligence. Civil procedure is the body of law governing how you state your personal injury claim in court, prove your injury claim in court, and how any appeals of your injury case might go. Depending on where your injury happened and who injured you, you may file your case in federal court. In such cases, the federal rules of civil procedure will lay out how to do everything. State court injury lawsuits will typically involve a similar but not always identical state set of rules of civil procedure governing the case.

When it comes to personal injury lawsuits, the most important thing is to have a legal claim with a source of law that provides the injured victim the ability to sue for damages if certain events happen and legal elements are met. In almost all personal injury cases, this source of law is based on State law. For every injury claim, your personal injury attorney must assist you to decide if the case is worth the cost of litigation and how to best present your injury case to obtain the compensation you deserve.

Jurisdiction in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Jurisdiction more broadly is the power of the court to do something. Once you’ve endured an injury, the first step is to consider the jurisdiction of courts involved in pursuing compensation. The victims of accidents and other injury causing events must find a court that has the power to hear their injury claim and the power to issue a binding judgment on the Defendant that compels the Defendant to pay compensation. Injury lawsuits often involve insurance companies as Defendants as well as the person or persons that caused your injuries.  

It may be possible to sue the tortfeasor that caused your injury in federal court. It is important to note, however, that as it relates to injury and other lawsuits, federal courts are of limited jurisdiction. Technically, they are established by federal statutes and can only hear certain injury claims falling within that statute. If your injury involves federal claims act allowing you to sue the government for torts, your specific case may invoke the general original jurisdiction of the court. This is a fact specific inquiry that should be handled by your injury lawyer.

About the Authors: Sawan & Sawan is a multi-generational, family owned law firm practicing law in the areas of car accidents, truck accidents, insurance claims, personal injury, litigation and more. Our firm practices law in Ohio (Toledo, Columbus), Georgia, Michigan and Florida

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