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After an Auto Accident, How Do You Begin a Lawsuit?

If you have suffered from an auto accident, and the accident and resulting personal injury to you was caused by the negligent actions of another driver, you have grounds to file a claim and initiate a lawsuit. Once you have decided to take this particular course of action, you file papers in a court that is allowed to adjudicate your case, and these filings are referred to as "pleadings." The first document to be filed with the court is known as the Complaint. The Complaint is essentially an outline, which details the basic information about the lawsuit- the court that will hear the case and why it has jurisdiction to hear the matter, the parties involved, the facts which gave rise to the claim in the first place, and what the plaintiff expects the defendant to do to remedy the harm described in the Complaint. This "remedy" may be paying for damages, for example, as it usually is in a personal injury lawsuit. The purpose of the Complaint is to let the defendant know that a suit is being initiated, and upon which factual and legal grounds the claim has been made. The Complaint is always given from the perspective of the plaintiff, so facts stated and even the nature of the legal claim may be disputed by the defendant.

Next, we have the Summons and Service of Process. The Summons formally states that a lawsuit has been filed and initiated, and refers to the Complaint for the particulars of why litigation has begun. It also details information about the court where the claim has been filed, and any other parties to the suit. Upon proper "service of process" by the court, wherein the defendant is handed Summons papers, the court will have official jurisdiction over the matter, and the defendant must respond to the Summons and Complaint in a timely manner, or risk losing the suit and being held liable for damages asked, even if the defendant never showed up in court.

If the defendant responds, he or she will submit to the court the Answer. The Answer is the response to the Summons and Complaint, and it either accepts the stipulations of the Complaint, denies them, or claims to have insufficient knowledge of the agenda laid out by the plaintiff. The defendant also has the option of laying out legal defenses to counter the accusations set forth in the Complaint, and deny liability for the actions upon which a suit has been brought.

These are the basic initiation procedures for the filing of a personal injury claim in a Los Angeles court. Though there are more potential procedures one could engage in, before any of these processes start, one should come equipped with a good personal injury lawyer to help see one through what can be a complicated and unfriendly process. Beyond aiding one with the procedural elements of a lawsuit, being able to ascertain the most applicable legal grounds for filing a claim and winning damages for personal injuries sustained is a specialty of experienced personal injury lawyers. Great Los Angeles personal injury lawyers can be found through the California Attorney Group, who will not only do a stellar job with the pre-trial procedural elements, they will also expertly handle your case at the trial level, or even settlement negotiation level. Contact the California Attorney Group now and get the compensation you deserve.