Your lawsuit will begin when you file the necessary paperwork with the court. This must be done before the statute of limitations expires. Any negotiations that you have with a potential defendant, a defendant’s attorney, or an insurance company prior to filing the correct paperwork with the court will not begin your claim.
Accordingly, it is important to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible who can make sure that your case is filed correctly and on time so that you can protect your recovery.
How to Start Your Case
If you are seeking $10,000 or more in damages then your case should be filed with one of the 24 circuit courts in the state of Illinois. You will need to file the following forms and pleadings:
- A complaint. The complaint should explain why you are filing a personal injury lawsuit, what happened that caused your injury, the injury that you suffered, and the remedy that you seek from the court. You will need to file at least two copies of your complaint with the court. One copy will be kept by the court and one copy will be served on the defendant.
- A civil lawsuit cover sheet. This sheet provides basic information that helps the court staff. Names, addresses, and contact information, for example, should be included on this sheet.
- An appearance form. Your appearance form should name your personal injury attorney.
- A summons. The summons informs the defendant of the lawsuit.
These forms are available from the court. In order to be accepted for filing by the court, they must meet the specific requirements set forth by the court and be accompanied by the required filing fee.
Get Help Before You File a Case
The complaint that you file with the court is important. It is the basis of your personal injury lawsuit. You can protect your rights and learn more about how a personal injury lawsuit works in Illinois before you file anything with the court that could impact your recovery. Simply contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.