Before filing a lawsuit, many times a personal injury claim is submitted. This allows an opportunity for the insurance company to cover damages that occur as a result of its policyholder’s negligence. When fault is disputed or negotiations for a settlement cannot be reached, the claim may turn into a lawsuit.

Paperwork That Initiates the Personal Injury Lawsuit

The first paperwork typically filed in a lawsuit is the complaint, otherwise known as a petition. This is where a case is made on behalf of the plaintiff. It explains the grounds for seeking legal action and a demand for compensation. Along with the complaint, a notice is also submitted. This puts the defendant on notice that he/she is being sued.

The defendant is given a specific timeframe in which to respond to the complaint/petition. It also usually includes consequences for not responding in a timely manner. The response is called the answer. Generally it is either an admittance or denial of the allegations and claims made in the complaint.

In some cases, an answer may contain a counterclaim from the defendant against the plaintiff. This requires a reply from the plaintiff, which is typically a denial or admittance.

If there were other parties involved in the accident, there may be cross-claims or third party complaints. The paperwork can quickly add up and become much more complicated.

Legal Counsel for a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Although each case is unique and the type of paperwork that is necessary will vary depending on the circumstances, when an accident goes from a personal injury claim to a lawsuit, it is often necessary to hire legal counsel. An attorney can help with the entire process, including the completion and submission of all legal paperwork. Contact Franks & Rechenberg, PC for a free consultation.