This blog series will cover important rules, timelines and purposes for various discovery procedures related to any car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, slip and fall or trip and fall claim. While the fortunate reality of pursuing a personal injury claim is that the case will settle 95%+ of the time, there is a very small percentage of cases that will require litigation. This occurs typically for two reasons (even though there are certainly other reasons a case may have to be litigated): The defendant (or his insurance carrier) denies liability or the defendant offers a small or ‘low-ball’ amount to settle the case and the personal injury victim rightfully refuses to accept it. So, what happens when settlement talks break down and resolution can’t be achieved? Litigation (if the accident victim agrees, of course). Litigation is commenced with the filing of the complaint packet. This packet includes the Complaint, a Civil Case Cover Sheet, a Summons, and a Cause of Action(s) document. Note, procedures and required documents may vary from courthouse to courthouse, but generally speaking, these are the initial documents that must be filed with the court to initiate litigation. Los Angeles Superior Court requires a Civil Case Addendum Sheet with Statement of Location, for example. Once the packet is accepted for filing by the clerk, it is stamped and filed. A conformed copy of the packet will be provided to your personal injury lawyer, in addition to other documentation (if available at the time) such as a notice of Case Management and related arbitration/mediation options. The conformed packet will then be served onto the individual or individuals/entities responsible for the injury accident. The defendant will then have to file what is called an Answer to the victim’s allegations in the complaint. At this juncture, we immediately begin to serve discovery on the defendant. Discovery, in a nutshell, is the method used to gather information from the defendant that will be used during the course of the litigation. Initial discovery includes Form or General Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, Request for Production of Documents, and setting the Deposition. Series 2 of this Blog will focus on these 4 different types of discovery. Contact our personal injury attorney for more information related to your car, truck, motorcycle, slip/trip and fall accident claim today.
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