Design the caption. The caption is the top of the lawsuit that identifies the parties. The person who is suing is generally called the Plaintiff. The person being sued is generally call the Defendant. Think about who is the actual victim. Who should be doing the suing? Think about who should be sued? Who is responsible for the injuries or the losses or damages you have suffered?
Identify the Parties. When you start writing the lawsuit, start by identifying each of the Parties. For example: (1). Plaintiff is John Doe, who resides at 123 Main Street in New York New York. (2). Defendant is Mary Smith, who residents at 789 Happy Lane in Los Angeles, California. If there are more Defendants, continue to identify them one by one in numbered paragraphs.
Next, tell the story. Using numbered paragraphs, outline what the case is about. Be concise. Just plead the facts, don't analyze all of the evidence. For example, (3). On January 15, 2010, John Doe was lawfully driving his case of Route 66 in Cleveland, Ohio. (4). At 3:15 p.m. on that day, Mary Smith negligently lost control of her vehicle on Route 66, crashing into John Doe's vehicle and forcing him off the road...
Keep telling the story in numbered paragraphs.
Now explain how you were damaged or injured. In numbered paragraphs, described what injuries, or damages or losses you suffered. For example: (10). As a result of Mary Doe's negligent driving, Plaintiff John Doe suffered a broken nose, a sprained ankle, and $3240 in damage to his motor vehicle.
Finish up with your Prayer for Damages. This clause usually begins with the word "Wherefore," and it states what relief you want from the court. For example: Wherefore, Plaintiff John Does demands a judgment against the Defendant Mary Smith for damages in excess of $50,000, plus court costs. Be careful: The rules for pleading the prayer for damages vary from state to state. Add a demand for a trial by jury if you want your case decided by a jury instead of a judge.
Sign and date your lawsuit and identify who you are. For example, "Respectfully submitted, John Doe, Plaintiff." Dated: December 3, 2010.
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