Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

The 3 Parts of a Personal Injury Petition

It’s our policy to give every case one chance of settling before we have to file suit. When a personal injury case doesn’t settle pre-suit, we have to file a petition.

A petition starts the lawsuit. We always have our clients review it before we file so they are familiar with the allegations. Generally speaking, it states what the defendant (the person or entity you’re suing) did wrong and what your damages were because of the wrongdoing.

More specifically, the petition usually contains these parts:

The parties

A court must have jurisdiction over the parties to a dispute in order to enforce judgments. In other words, if you win your trial and want to collect money compensation from the defendant, the court must have the power to enforce its judgment. This is jurisdiction. To be sure the court has it, we have to include information about the parties: where they reside, and what they did in the jurisdiction.

The wrongdoing

The petition has to say what the defendant did wrong and why they were negligent. It's not enough to say they were negligent. You have to say why they were negligent. The allegations should contain enough information to enable the reader to understand what the defendant did wrong and why it was wrong.

The damages

The petition must also spell out what your damages are. What injuries and damages did the defendant’s negligence cause? With the exception of pain and suffering damages, you have to state your damages in order to get money for them. If you don’t, then you won’t be able to ask the jury for money in the verdict for the damages you missed.

There are several more parts to a personal injury lawsuit. If you have questions about a PI suit, please contact us at any time at 816.867.8611. As Kansas City personal injury lawyers, we’ve filed many lawsuits for our clients and can answer your questions.