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Last Modified: December 23, 2022


Black’s Law Dictionary technically defines a plaintiff as “a person who brings an action, complains, or sues in a personal action.” More simply, Utah State Courts define it as “a person who files a lawsuit.”

Example Sentence

After a dog bit her, Susan filed a lawsuit as the plaintiff.

Case Study

In one of our cases, we helped the father who had recently lost his son. His son died after the driver rolled the car he was in. In this case, the father, not the son, was the plaintiff. Since his son could not seek compensation for his losses, the father could. When the insurance company tried to devalue the life of his son, we challenged them. Eventually they settled, allowing the father to focus on recovering from the loss of his son.

Other Important Information

People can choose to pursue a lawsuit on their own, but most seek the help of an attorney. With personal injury law the plaintiff usually seeks compensation for her losses. She does so legally in order to have the government enforce it. The plaintiff’s name typically comes first in the name of the case (i.e. Plaintiff v. Defendant). To start the legal process, the plaintiff must file a complaint. This document notifies the defendant and the court of what the defendant did to harm the plaintiff. The courts call this a& cause of action. She must also start the lawsuit within a certain time limit called the statute of limitations. It is on her to prove that her claim is correct, known as the burden of proof. The goal is to have the defendant compensate for all injuries, lost wages, and other losses. This can include any injuries made worse by the defendant. Having an attorney can help plaintiffs in several ways.

  • You can give the attorney the power of attorney. This allows him to sign documents and act on your behalf.
  • He will know how to file all of the technical legal documents such as complaints and motions.
  • He will know how to follow legal procedures such as the statute of limitations.

Good Guys Injury Law – UT Personal Injury Lawyers

Photo “Scott, Meredith, Nancy for plaintiff” copyright by Eric Chan.