Whether you were injured due to the negligence of another or you are being denied compensation after an accident, hiring a criminal defense lawyer or personal injury lawyer may be your best bet. Before you contact a criminal attorney, it is important that you understand how lawsuits work.
Terms to Know
Take the time to research legal terms relevant to your claim. Some basic terms to know include:
Plaintiff: Individual filing the lawsuit
Defendant: Party being sued
Summons: Legal document calling you into court
Complaint: Written documentation regarding plaintiff’s claim
The first step in filing a lawsuit is completing a written complaint. This document should include the basic facts of the case, names of the individuals involved, legal theory to back up your claim, and a clear outline of your monetary expectations.
The defendant is required to respond to the complaint within 20-30 days with their own responsive pleadings. This is the defendant’s opportunity to point out technical problems with the complaint, additional names of individuals involved, or even completely deny the claim. In other words, this is the defendant’s opportunity to defend themselves.
The defendant may also answer the complaint in the form of a motion, or request for court ruling. The opposing party may file a request for the judge to dismiss or deny this motion if:
- Court lacks subject matter or personal jurisdiction for case.
- Court is improper venue for case.
- Not enough legally sufficient information for mover’s request for the motion.
In some cases, the defendant may also answer the complaint in the form of a countersuit against the plaintiff.
Negotiating a Settlement
Once your claim goes to court, your defense attorney will draft a formal settlement offer to the defendant. The judge will make the final decision in the event that the plaintiff and defendant are unable to negotiate the settlement offer outside of court.
Filing a personal injury claim? Family law attorneys with Blumberg and Associates provide the legal representation for your needs. For practice areas, attorney profiles, locations, or to schedule a consultation, visit our website today!
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