Car accident injury lawsuits are typically handled as personal injury cases and filed in civil court. The plaintiff (the party who filed the action) requests financial compensation from the defendant (the person being sued). The procedure for filing a lawsuit is described in general here.
- File a complaint: Making a court complaint is the initial step in pursuing an automobile accident lawsuit. This gives a thorough account of what took place, the losses you are claiming, and the legal justification for filing the complaint. The statute of limitations in your state must be followed, which in California is two years after the incident that led to your injuries.
- Serve the Defendant with the complaint: You must notify the defendant that you have sued them after submitting your complaint to the court. In order for the court to consider the document to have been properly served, a process known as “serving the complaint” must be completed.
- The Defendant files an answer to your complaint: Typically, this response will admit or deny the factual claims made in your complaint and present any legal defenses.
- Discovery: Both parties will ask for and share information after the complaint and answer have been submitted to the court. Discovery is the process of doing this. You might be asked to provide documents, respond to written questions, or give a deposition during this stage of the process. The defendant will also be given the chance to do so.
- Trial: Both parties will convene when discovery is finished and make their cases in front of a judge or jury. Before coming to trial, the case may be settled if one side has overwhelming evidence. Otherwise, both the Plaintiff and Defendant will have the chance to present evidence, call witnesses, cross-examine the other party’s witnesses, call experts, etc. Following the conclusion of the trial, the judge or jury will deliberate and render a decision in favour of the plaintiff or defendant based on a “preponderance of evidence” in favour of that party’s claim. A judgement will then be entered, along with the amount of any awarded damages, if any.
It’s not easy to file a personal injury lawsuit for your auto accident claim. It calls for a good deal of expertise and knowledge. The average person cannot successfully attempt this on their own.