How An Automobile Accident Lawsuit is Handled
An automobile accident lawsuit is a complaint which lays out all the claims that our clients (the plaintiff) have against the responsible party (defendant), who is the person being sued; this is all included the Summons (law documents).
The purpose of the Summons is to advise the defendant who the plaintiff is, the court of jurisdiction and how long the defendant has to respond to the car accident or truck accident complaint.
The defendant has to answer within a certain time (usually 30 days). The defendant’s answer must include what portions of our client’s complaint the defendant may agree with or what disagrees with.
The answer will also include any defenses that the defendant has and whether or not the defendant has any claims against either the plaintiff or a third party.
If the defendant has hos or her own claims against the plaintiff, then the defendant files a counter claim or cross complaint against a third party. The counter claim would be against the plaintiff and the cross complaint would be against a third party.
The defendant can also file a motion requesting that the judge dismiss our client’s complaint. In a standard motion to dismiss, defendants can raise certain defenses including lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, lack of jurisdiction over the particular defendant, that the service of the lawsuit was invalid or insufficient or that the documents were not technically correct and failed to state a claim in which the plaintiff can repay.
Sometimes the defendant does not answer and we take a default judgment against him or her.
Most of the time will be spent in discovery and litigation. Discovery is when the defendant and the plaintiff give to each other relevant
information, paperwork and documents which are related to the claim.
The discovery can either be written questions or interrogatories (verbal questions), document production or documents, requests for admissions, which are formally transcribed sworn statements taken in front of a court reporter.
When a discovery dispute arises, we often bring a motion such as a motion to compel the other side to provide information.
Ultimately, discovery ends and we are ready for trial or the defendant files a motion for summary judgment which means that we have to prove that there are material facts in dispute so that the case can move forward either based on facts in dispute or the law.
Ultimately, we get to the point where the court orders us to go to some sort of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) such as a mediation court negotiated settlement or even a binding arbitration which we may agree to with the defendant’s insurance company.
If we do not reach agreement at that point (95% of cases are resolved by this point), then we continue preparing for trial. The case is settled either right before the first day of trial or a small percent of cases we try and obtain a verdict for our clients.
The above procedure can take as much as 15 months.
We move these cases very quickly as we are contingency lawyers and do not receive any fee until we obtain a recovery. You have our commitment that if we represent you and if your case goes into a lawsuit (only 10% of our cases ever do) that we will move very quickly so that you can obtain a financial recovery as soon as possible.
If you have been injured through the carelessness, negligence or irresponsible behavior of another individual or organization, you should contact Nadrich and Cohen immediately at 800-722-0765. Our highly experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyers will fight for your future income, obtaining lost wages, damage to your car, hospital bills, doctors’ visits, medication, rehabilitation, pain and suffering.
We will make sure that you get the car accident settlement that you are entitled to. The big insurance companies have lawyers working for them, so should you. We do not charge you a penny, we only get paid when you get paid.