If you are seeking compensation as a result of a car accident, you may need to file a lawsuit. This step may be necessary to get the other side to take your request for money damages seriously. Once you file suit, a very specific legal process is set in motion. Read on to find out what happens right after you let the other party know about your damages.
The Complaint is Served
Your case is not in motion until you know the other side has been served a copy of the complaint or petition. Since the complaint is a list of your grievances about the case, the other side is given the opportunity to respond to the allegations in the complaint. This is known as an answer and the other side has a limited amount of time with which to respond.
Addressing Your Complaint
The response of the other side to the complaint involves one of these three:
1. Admitting the fact is true
2. Denying the fact is true
3. Insufficient facts are available at this time.
Answering With Denials
Naturally, most of the facts of the case will be denied by the other side. Usually, the answers to each allegation contain a denial as well as the reason why it is being denied. For example, if you state in your complaint that the other driver was driving recklessly at the time of the accident, the other side might counter with the fact that the other driver was not cited for any traffic violations as a result of the accident.
Additionally, this is an opportunity for the other side to effect motions for the case to be dismissed. Some common motions to dismiss include:
- The statute of limitations has expired.
- The case is being brought in the wrong state, jurisdiction, or court.
- The case has no merit.
In addition to the answer, the other side may decide to "sue you back" and file a counterclaim to your suit. This suit is connected to the original suit and proposes an alternative view of the facts of the case. The other side is not simply denying that you were harmed as a result of the other driver's actions. They are also alleging that the other driver suffered from harm as a result of your actions. Counterclaims can make the entire process more complex and lengthy and are be avoided. If you suspect that your own behavior contributed to the wreck, be sure your attorney knows about it beforehand.
Speak to personal injury attorneys like those at McMenamin & McMenamin, PS, and get some help fighting for your compensation.