Below is a sample personal injury complaint for a DUI rear end car accident case to be filed in either State Court or Superior Court. In Georgia, each county has a Superior Court. The County Superior Court handles cases involving serious crimes (felonies), civil disputes, real estate matters and family and domestic relations issues. In many counties, however, there are too many cases for the Superior Courts to handle. In these counties, State Courts assist by handling civil law actions not otherwise within the jurisdiction of Superior Court, dispossessions, misdemeanors, and certain traffic offenses. Because the process is generally faster and the judges are more familiar with the laws and statues related to personal injuries, most Georgia personal injury lawsuits are filed in State Court.
In State Court or Superior Court across Georgia, there is no limit or cap to the damages that are demanded – unlike in Magistrate Court. And though a personal injury complaint filed in State or Superior Court will be lengthier and more detailed than a complaint filed in Magistrate Court. The complaint should still maintain a basic approach. In any personal injury case, your complaint can and will be used against you at trial. Therefore, it is best to give a short and concise statement of the facts, rather than an exhaustive and detailed account of all the events. This “notice complaint” is allowed as the “Georgia Civil Practice Act requires only notice pleading and… pleadings are to be construed liberally and reasonably to achieve substantial justice…” Islam v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. et al., Georgia Court of Appeals (No. A13A2373) 2014.
In Georgia punitive damages are permitted if it can be proven, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the Defendant’s negligence was egregious, malicious, or recklessly indifferent. If that burden is met, a judge or jury may award up to $250,000 in punitive damages. Further, if it can be shown that the Defendant was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the $250,000 cap does not apply. You may then be able to seek unlimited punitive damages.
Where to File?
A personal injury lawsuit must be filed in the county where the Defendant (i.e., the at-fault driver or corporation) lives or the registered agent is located. If a Defendant is an unincorporated business, the lawsuit must be filed in the county where the business is physically located.
How to File?
All State or Superior Courts in Georgia use one of two electronic filing system, Odyssey or PeachCourt, to electronically file a personal injury complaint.
Elements of a State or Superior Court Complaint
Name of the Court
Preamble listing the parties of the lawsuit
Parties and Jurisdiction
Template Complaint For Personal Injuries
DUI rear-end car accident complaint
IN THE STATE COURT OF HALL COUNTY
STATE OF GEORGIA
COMPLAINT FOR INJURIES
COMES NOW, Plaintiff in the above-styled civil action and brings this Complaint against the above-named Defendant, and in support hereof, shows the Court as follows:
PARTIES AND JURISDICTION
- Plaintiff John Smith resides in the county of Forsyth and is subject to the jurisdiction of this court.
- Defendant Robert Brown (“Defendant”) may be served with process at their residence located at 4970 Kuhl Avenue, Apartment 34J, Gainesville, GA 30501.
- Defendant is subject to the jurisdiction of this Court because they are a Georgia resident.
- Venue is proper in this Court because Defendant resides in Hall County.
- Pursuant to OCGA §9-3-33, actions for injuries to the personal shall be brought within two years after the right of action accrues. This action is brought before the two-year limitation.
- On or about June 5, 2021, Plaintiff and Defendant were involved in an automobile crash in Atlanta, Georgia, Fulton County.
- Plaintiff was operating a 2015 Kia Optima traveling westbound on 14th Street and approaching the intersection of Peachtree Street NE.
- Defendant was operating a 2008 Honda Accord CR-V traveling westbound on 14th Street, behind Plaintiff, and approaching the intersection of Peachtree Street NE.
- The Collision occurred when Defendant crashed into the rear of Plaintiff’s vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
- Plaintiff suffered bodily injuries because of the Collision.
- At all relevant times, Plaintiff exercised due care for their own safety.
- Defendant owed a duty of care to the motoring public in general, and to Plaintiff in particular, to operate a vehicle in a reasonable and prudent manner and to adhere to the pertinent Rules of the Road for the State of Georgia.
- The Collision was directly and proximately caused by the negligence of Defendant.
- The Collision was directly and proximately caused by Defendant's negligence for following too closely to Plaintiff.
- The Collision was directly and proximately caused by Defendant's negligence for driving too fast for the conditions present on the roadway.
- The Collision was directly and proximately caused by Defendant's negligence for reckless driving.
- The Collision was directly and proximately caused by Defendant's negligence for driving under the influence of alcohol.
- The Collision was directly and proximately caused by Defendant's negligence for failing to lookout for Plaintiff’s vehicle.
- The Collision was directly and proximately caused by Defendant's negligence for failing to operate a motor vehicle in a safe and lawful manner.
- The Collision was directly and proximately caused by Defendant's negligence.
- Defendant’s actions constituted negligence per se regarding applicable laws and standards including but not limited to:
a. Following too closely, in violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-49
b. Reckless driving, in violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-390.
c. Driving under the influence of alcohol, in violation of O.C.G.A § 40-6-391.
- Plaintiff’s personal injuries were directly and proximately caused by Defendant’s negligence.
- Defendant is liable for Plaintiff’s injuries and damages sustained, pain and suffering, and all other elements of damages allowed under the laws of the State of Georgia.
- As a direct and proximate result of Defendant’s negligence, Plaintiff suffered personal injuries and required medical treatment.
- As a direct and proximate result of Defendant’s negligence, Plaintiff incurred medical expenses in excess of $37,837.76 to date.
- As a direct and proximate result of Defendant’s negligence, Plaintiff sustained physical pain and suffering as well as emotional distress and continues to suffer physical pain and suffering.
- As a direct and proximate result of Defendant’s negligence, Plaintiff suffered lost wages in excess of $26,946.00.
- Plaintiff seeks to and is entitled to recover for:
- Personal injuries;
- Past, present, and future pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish
- Loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life;
- Economic losses;
- Incidental expenses;
- Past, present, and future medical expenses;
- Lost earnings;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Permanent injuries
- Consequential damages to be proven at trial
- Defendant’s actions constitute willful misconduct, malice, fraud, oppression, wantonness and an entire want of care raising the presumption of conscience indifference to the consequences. Accordingly, Plaintiff is entitled to recover punitive damages from Defendant, as determined by the enlightened conscience of the jury.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays respectfully request:
- Process issue as provided by law;
- Trial by jury against Defendant;
- Judgment be award to Plaintiff and against Defendant;
- Plaintiff be awarded for all past medical bills as plead;
- Plaintiff be awarded additional damages in amounts to be shown at trial;
- Plaintiff be awarded punitive damages in amounts to be determined by the jury;
- Plaintiff have such other relief as this Court deems just and appropriate.
Submitted this _____________________, 20_____.
GEORGIA TRIAL ATTORNEYS AT KIRCHEN & GRANT, LLC
/s/ James M. Grant, Esq.
James M. Grant
Georgia Bar No. 4682457
Attorney for Plaintiff
6825 Jimmy Carter Boulevard
Norcross, GA, 30071
Phone: (678) 667-8965
Fax: (833) 931-6633