When you have been injured because of the wrongful act of another person, you want the legal process to move forward as quickly as possible, so that you can get the compensation you need to cover all your losses and get on with your life. But it’s a process and the process can unfortunately take some time. If you know what needs to happen, though, it can help you get through the process. This blog looks at the initial steps in a personal injury lawsuit.
Pleadings Must Be Filed
A “pleading” is a document submitted to the court either to initiate a lawsuit or to move it forward. Before anything can happen, you will need to file a complaint with the court clerk. The complaint will identify who the defendants are, when the injury occurred, and how the defendants caused you to suffer loss. The complaint will also ask for damages, an amount necessary to compensate you for injury and/or property loss. The complaint must be filed within a certain period of time, as set forth in the Statute of Limitations.
Once you have filed your complaint, the defendants have a certain amount of time, established by court rules, during which they must file an “answer” to your complaint. Typically, the answer responds to each allegation in the complaint, either affirming or denying the allegation. If the defendants don’t file their answer within the required period of time, you may be able to get a default judgment.
The Discovery Period
After the complaint and answer have been filed, the next phase of the process begins—the discovery period. Discovery is essentially a legal term that covers the gathering of evidence. Typically, discovery involves depositions, requests for production and interrogatories (written questions pertaining to evidentiary matters). The court will customarily establish a date by which discovery must be completed, and will address any other issues related to discovery, such as a limit on the number of interrogatories that may be submitted.
Contact the Law Offices of J. Lewis & Associates
To discuss your legal needs with an experienced Riverside premises liability injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll-free at 1-800-228-0507. There is no charge for your initial consultation. Se Habla Espanol.