Should I sue someone in small claims court? 21 Answers as of February 20, 2012

I want to sue someone in small claims court. I had to get surgery to fix my nose and couldn't work for a week. However, my out of pocket costs were minimal due to the fact that I have insurance. I want to sue mainly for pain and suffering. How do I figure out the amount I should ask for especially with continuing issues? I am also harassed on Facebook by other people about this incident .

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Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
You do not state how you got injured and why the other guy is responsible. If you got some money, did you sign a release? If so, you would be barred. If not, you can try small claims. It is difficult to assess what your demand should be without knowing all of the details and the total medical expenses. You might as well ask for the max ($7500) and let the judge decide. But you need good evidence (which can be your testimony) of how this incident has really affected you and caused you emotional distress. Explain about disruption to daily activities and from work if it applies. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/25/2011
Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine
Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine | Richard Martin
"Small claims" or "limited actions" courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Typically, there is a fixed maximum dollar amount for any claim made in such a court; if the amount of money you are seeking exceeds the dollar amount, then you may have to proceed in the "district court," or the court of general jurisdiction. The fact that your injuries were covered by insurance does not mean that you cannot seek compensation for the full amount of the injuries caused. That is why you pay for insurance, and you are entitled to its benefits. Sometimes ether may be medical provider liens on your claim. A personal injury attorney can assist in negotiating the amount of those liens down in order to maximize your recovery. Consult a personal injury attorney immediately to evaluate your case.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 10/25/2011
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
You did not say what the incident was nor what the injury was. Sounds like maybe an assault? You can sue for up to $5000 in small claims (Judge Judy court) If I have personal injuries I would sue for the max and say it is for personal injuries, pain and suffering.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 10/25/2011
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
Whether you should or not is up to you. I assume from the question that someone else broke it for you. Check with your local municipal court to find out what the limit for small claims court is. Ask for the maximum.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/25/2011
Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC
Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC | Sam L. Levine
It depends on whether someone who had a legal duty to you was negligent & their negligence caused your injuries. I would need to know more of the facts. I would speak to an attorney to evaluate your case. Be sure to keep a record of all of your medical bills & expenses. You should also maintain a pain log.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 10/25/2011
    Law Offices of Kenneth Wincorn P.C.
    Law Offices of Kenneth Wincorn P.C. | Kenneth Wincorn
    Small claims court is probably the best answer. Contact the court to get the details, in most cases they are very helpful and can give you direction.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/25/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    If you mean that someone was at fault in damaging your nose that required surgery then you should get a lawyer and sue for the big bucks.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/25/2011
    Buff & Chronister, LLC.
    Buff & Chronister, LLC. | Curtis L. Chronister Jr.
    You can sue in the Magistrate Courts of Georgia for up to $15,000.00. If you were injured by the negligence or an intentional act of someone, then you have every right to bring an action against them. If you do proceed with a lawsuit in Magistrate Court, you as the plaintiff have the burden of proving that the defendant is liable for your injuries and you have the burden of proving your damages. If you prove liability, then you are entitled to reasonable medical bills, loss wages and for your pain and suffering. A Magistrate Court Judge will decide the value of your claim based upon the severity of your injuries. If you were injured by the willful or intentional act of another, the Judge could also award you punitive damages in addition to your compensatory damages. Some factors a Court is likely to look at in determining a sum for your pain and suffering are (a) number of visits you made to a medical provider; (b) inability to work and labor (c) amount of your injury related medical bills; and (d) inability to engage in social and recreational activities. You can also have friends and family members testify for you to prove your pain and suffering.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/25/2011
    The Carlile Law Firm, LLP
    The Carlile Law Firm, LLP | D. Scott Carlile
    If you believe that you have been injured by another person in violation of your rights then you certainly could sue. However, having the right to sue doesn't necessarily mean you have a very good case.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    You should not sue for this in small claims court. You might have a medical malpractice claim; if you wish to pursue it contact an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Shaw Law Firm
    Shaw Law Firm | Steven L. Shaw
    It's difficult to tell what happened from what you wrote, but here are some things to consider. Small claims court has a damages cap of $5,000. If you're seeking more then that to compensate for what happened, you should consider taking your case to a higher court like district or superior court. If your health insurer paid for your medical bills, you will have to reimburse the insurer if you collect any money from the at fault party. Because of that, you'll need to figure that into whatever you are asking for. Frankly, you should strongly consider taking your case to an attorney with experience making claims for injury. Surgery claims require significant proof and medical documentation. Your claim would likely benefit from at least some attorney guidance.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Small Claims court is for property damage only.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    How did you get your nose broken? The value of your pain and suffering likely exceeds the jurisdictional limits of small claims court.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Broad Law Firm, LLC
    Broad Law Firm, LLC | Donald K. Broad
    The small claims Judge will decide what the proper amount should be for pain and suffering, assuming that you prove the other side is liable to you for damages. When making that determination, the Judge will look at evidence such as your testimony about your pain, the level of the pain, the amount of time that it lasted, and the general effect it had on your life. The Judge will also look to evidence of the amount of lost wages and medical expenses when making his/her determination. Understand that in Indiana a small claims court is limited in what they can award with a cap of $6,000.00. If you plan to seek more than that amount, you will need to file in another Court. Regardless, you would be wise to at least seek a consultation with a personal injury attorney to get an idea of what your case may be worth.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    You may have a case worth much more than the $5,000 small claims court limit. It will depend on how your injury occurred and the nature of your surgery. If you only want unpaid expenses small claims court is fine. You can do a small claims matter on your own but again depending on the nature of your claim you should consult our firm or another personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Wooten, Kimbrough & Normand, P.A.
    Wooten, Kimbrough & Normand, P.A. | Orman Kimbrough, Esq.
    Without knowing the circumstances of what lead to your need for surgery, one cannot give you specific advice. I suggest you speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible so that person can give you recommendations concerning your case.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    I can't answer your question without knowing about "the incident". If someone battered you (hit you in the nose, breaking it) then you need to know your health insurance might ask you to get their money back for them.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    Your insurance company will want to get paid back if you recover from your Defendant. There isn't any formula to determine the amount of money you should get for pain and suffering. It depends on how much it hurt, how long it hurt, how it impacted your life, etc. Sometimes three times the amount of the medical bills is a starting place, but it varies.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/24/2011
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