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What is a “Bill of Particulars?”

 

A: When you bring a lawsuit in New York seeking compensation for your injuries, you as the “plaintiff” are required to itemize in detail the allegations against the people you are suing. When I say “you” I really mean your lawyer.

Your attorney is required to prepare a detailed set of documents known as a bill of particulars after the lawsuit has started. Here's how the process works:

Your lawsuit is started with certain documents known as a summons and complaint. The people you are suing are then required to answer the allegations in the complaint.

The attorney representing the people you have sued will send back a detailed list of questions and demands seeking answers.

Your attorney must then answer each of the questions that they pose in this document known as a verified bill particulars.

Some of the questions they want answered including why you believe something was done wrong. They want to know what the exact claims of negligence or medical malpractice were. What is it that their client did or did not do that you believe caused harm? They want to know specifics. They want to know dates and times. They want to know what the theory of liability is.

They want to know what specific injuries you have suffered as a result of the alleged wrongdoing. They want to know what medical expenses you have incurred because of the wrongdoing. They want to know if you are supporting anyone financially and what your earnings history has been.

All of these details are required to be provided to the defense to put them on notice about the exact claims you are making and the reasons why. A “verified” bill of particulars means that you have reviewed and confirmed the details being provided in this document.

If you live in a county different from where your attorney has his office, there are instances where the attorney will be able to verify the document he is providing. However, the better practice is to have you, the client, confirm and verify the detailed claims and injuries you are bringing in your case.