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How do I start a personal injury lawsuit?

Though most Ohio drivers may do their best to drive safely on the road, the sad reality is that car crashes happen daily on the roads. Drivers and their passengers may get injured in the accident and some may even lose their lives due to the catastrophic injuries sustained in the accident. While it may not be on their mind at that time, accident victims and their loved ones may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused the accident. The question family members and victims may have is, how does one start a lawsuit?

The first document that should be filed is the complaint, or the petition, that gives a brief outline of the case against the other party. It sets out the legal basis for the case and identifies the parties involved in the lawsuit. It also contains a portion where the victims will demand either the judgment they want or the relief they seek, like damages.

Next comes the summons, a document that notifies the recipient or the defendant that they have been sued and sets out the time limit they have to respond to the notice. If they fail to do so, the case may be decided without the defendant, and they will be bound by the judgment in the case.

A flurry of forms could follow next -- the defendant's answer, counterclaim, reply to counterclaim and in some instances, even a third party complaint. It can seem very overwhelming to someone who is still recovering from either the injuries they suffered or the loss they suffered when they lost a loved one.

However, Ohio residents should not forget that they have the right to file a claim for compensation for the injuries they have suffered and their losses. It may be impossible, but there are experienced professionals who can help Ohio accident victims through the process and help them get the compensation they deserve.

Source:, "Starting a lawsuit: Initial court papers," accessed on July 11, 2016

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