The personal injury litigation process can be daunting if you’ve never gone through it before (like most people). But don’t fret, we’re here to help.

Understanding the Parties

If you are the one filing the lawsuit, you’re the Plaintiff. If you are the one being sued, you’re the Defendant. It’s really that simple.

Plaintiff = Files Lawsuit

Defendant = Is Being Sued

Drafting the Petition

The petition is a document that starts the lawsuit. Aside from being the document that starts everything, a petition is also a crucial document because it sets out in detail the allegations against the defendant. If drafted incorrectly, the Defendant can use the petition against you. But if drafted correctly, you can be use it to hammer the Defendant over the head repeatedly during the personal injury litigation process.

These are the things you want to cover in your petition:

  1. The Parties involved.
  2. The date(s) of the negligent acts and the resulting injuries.
  3. The location(s) of the negligent acts and the resulting injuries.
  4. The factual basis for the allegations against the Defendant.
  5. The injuries alleged and the parts of your body affected.
  6. The amount of damages you’re asking for – in Missouri, we allege over $25,000 to keep the case in Circuit Court.

You can see a sample of a auto accident petition here.

Filing the Lawsuit

Serving the Defendant

Waiting for an Answer to the Petition

Written Discovery

Party Depositions

Doctor Depositions

Other Expert Depositions

Trial Preparation


Jury Selection


Plaintiff’s Case

Defendant’s Case