Whenever you are involved in a car accident, you and the other party will hire personal injury lawyers and attempt to reach an out-of-court agreement and settlement. However, if this is not possible (and it sometimes is not) you and the other party will have to go to court. This means that you (the plaintiff) will have to file an official lawsuit against the other party (the defendant!)
What is the difference between a car accident lawsuit and a claim?
Before you decide to file a lawsuit, you need to know the difference between a lawsuit and a claim for car accidents. Your personal injury lawyer in Placentia, will tell you that a claim occurs when you tell the insurers about your accident and submit a claim through one or both of them to try to receive compensation. A lawsuit, on the other hand, is legal action that occurs when you take the other party to court.There are many steps involved in filing a lawsuit. They are explained below:
Step # 1: file a complaint
Your lawsuit will officially start when you (the plaintiff) files an official complaint with your local court. This is an official document that describes what happened in a series of numbered paragraphs. These paragraphs also list the legal basis/justification(s) for bringing the lawsuit and the settlement amount demanded.
Step # 2: Serve the complaint on the defendant
When the complaint is served on the defendant, that person is informed of the charges being brought against him or her. The person will have the opportunity to defend him or herself in court. The defendant will be given the summons to appear in court. As the plaintiff, you’ll generally hae3 30 days to issue a summons to the defendant.
Step # 3: the defendant files an answer
This occurs when the defendant files an official document that answers the summons. It can either admit or deny the allegations made in the official complaint. It also states if the defendant will have any legal defenses to the lawsuit.
Step # 4: Discovery
You and the defendant will exchange information that will likely serve as admissible evidence in court. Both of you and your personal injury lawyers will see all sides of the case. This will allow you to plan your positions and defend them accordingly in court.
Step 5: trial
The trial begins. Both you and the defendant will make opening statements. Then the two of you will be able to make your cases in court with your personal injury lawyers. The two sides will be cross-examined and then closing statements will be made.
Going to court is not that hard
While you (as the plaintiff) are not legally required to hire a personal injury lawyer, it is highly recommended. You may live in a no-fault state that limits the circumstances under which you can file a lawsuit. You can indeed win in court provided you have good legal help and know the information discussed in this article.