A person’s conduct can give rise to a negligence claim if he or she fails to act with reasonable care and another person suffers some harm as a result. If you have been the victim of negligence that has resulted in a personal injury or an injury to your property, you can file a negligence claim. In addition to knowing whether or not you have suffered harm due to someone else’s negligence, it is important you understand basic procedural rules to filing your negligence complaint. Further, if you feel like you have a valid negligence claim, it is best to seek out an attorney to assist you in filing the negligence complaint against the opposing party.
You may have a valid negligence claim if there is a duty for a party to act with a certain level of care, he or she does not act with such care, and you or your property is hurt because of this failure to act accordingly. The process of filing your negligence complaint will depend on the type of negligence that occurred. For example, you may be considering suing your doctor for professional negligence, or you may have been hurt in a car accident and want to claim that the driver at fault acted negligently, causing the accident. It is of the utmost importance to understand your claim prior to filing. Ask yourself, “How did the negligent party act without care?” and “How did that negligence cause my injury?”
In addition to understanding your claim, you must also keep in mind what court is the proper venue in which to file. In order for a court to hold jurisdiction — i.e., have the right to hear a particular case — over your claim, it will have to be both the type of court that hears negligence cases and in the right geographic area. Jurisdictional requirements vary across the globe, but taking the United States as an example, negligence claims are typically heard by state courts. Therefore, you would want to seek out the state court closest to the location the negligent action occurred. If you are not sure as to where the proper venue is located, your best course of action is to contact the clerk at the nearest courthouse and ask if it is the proper venue in which to file your negligence complaint.
After locating the proper courthouse, the last step to filing your negligence claim is to fill out a negligence complaint. It is highly recommended that you seek the aid of an attorney in filing the complaint, as the documents are typically very specific as to the requirements for stating a cause of action. If you choose not to employ an attorney, courts usually have templates for filling out claims available at the court’s website. After filling out the complaint form, you must deliver one copy to the courthouse and one copy to the defendant against whom you are making the claim and your case will continue from there.