Filing a personal injury case is pretty much a straightforward process, however, non-lawyers may find it overwhelming. Hence, knowing the basic information about filing this specific type of case is important so you can make a sound legal decision.
In this post, you’ll learn about the essential matters concerning filing a personal injury case.
First and foremost, a petition or complaint should be filed to the court, then served to the defendant or the person you are suing. It’s a formal legal document that states the factual and legal basis for the personal injury lawsuit.
Bear in mind that your complaint or petition is the first official and legal document in your personal injury case. It lays out in detail what you’re alleging, how you were harmed, and what the at-fault person did. Choosing the best injury lawyer will help you go through the entire process, from preparing and filing your petition up to court trial.
Here are the things you need to know when preparing and filing a petition:
Many jurisdictions require the plaintiff to file summons. It’s a document identifying the litigation parties and explaining to the defendant that they are being sued. This document contains the seal of the court, as well as the court clerk’s signature.
Here are the things you need to know about filing summons:
Serving the complaint means that the complaint should be physically delivered to the defendant. It ensures that the at-fault party cannot later claim not knowing about the lawsuit.
The service papers, along with the summons and complaint, will indicate the next date the defendant must appear in court. Serving of complaint is completed when the defendant receives a copy of the required legal documents. Law enforcement officers, court officials, and professional process servers usually complete this process.
Here are the important things you need to know about service of process:
Once the complaint and summons have been filed to the court and served on the defendant, the defendant should respond to your complaint. An “answer” (admitting or denying) can be filed for each of the allegations.
Also, the defendant can neither deny nor admit the allegation and file a motion to dismiss. If ever the court grants the defendant’s motion, a portion of the entire complaint will be dismissed. The defendant has a month or so to find a lawyer before the first court appearance. That’s why hiring a personal injury lawyer is highly beneficial if you’re planning to file a case in order for you to know your best legal options.
In the pre-trial litigation, both sides will ask for witness information and evidence in the “discovery” phase. During the early stages, each party needs to appear in court, so the judge is properly informed of the progress of the case, whether or not both parties agree for arbitration or mediation. By then, a trial date will be set.
Here are the things you need to know about the pre-trial process:
Before the deadline expires, you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. Statute of limitations restricts the amount of time of filing a personal injury lawsuit. Every state has set deadlines, but personal injury cases usually have a two-year time limit.
Here are the important things you need to know about statutes of limitations:
Filing a personal injury case entails creating a complaint or petition and summons, which should bear all important details of your complaint, as well as the essential signatories. You have to make sure that you file the lawsuit before the expiration deadline of the statute of limitations in your state. Once you have served the complaint and summons, the defendant should respond within 30 days; afterward, you’re off to the pre-trial or discovery stage.
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