How To File A Claim Or Lawsuit Against A Liabile Driver?

Have you or a loved one been involved in a motor vehicle accident where another driver is at fault? If so, you are likely eligible to receive compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, and other financial damages. Unfortunately, these cases can be confusing and difficult to navigate. But the right legal team can help you immensely. Here, we’ll look at filing a claim or lawsuit against a liable driver in Indiana.

Steps To Be Followed When Filing A Lawsuit

Filing a lawsuit is not an easy job. Many people think the case will be over once they fill in the necessary forms and pay the required fees. But here is where an Indianapolis car accident lawyer can help you. To paraphrase a famous TV character, the road is long and full of perils between filing a claim and using your settlement money. Here are the steps to be followed when filing a lawsuit:

1. Pre-File Stage

The pre-file stage is the very starting point of a lawsuit. It begins when you start collecting evidence and preparing your documents. After gathering sufficient information, you can prepare your court petition or complaint and draft important accompanying documents like summons, affidavits, or legal memoranda. Such matters are complex, tricky, and time-consuming, so it is best to let your lawyer handle everything from paperwork to witness testimonies.

2. File a Demand Letter

A demand letter is the first step in filing a lawsuit. It should include the facts of your case and a request for compensation from the defendant. It would help if you were sure to have precise details and information, including dates, names, and numbers. Defendants often reply to demand letters with a letter asking you to drop your claim. Your attorney will most likely use standard calculators to determine a fair settlement amount and take charge when the other party’s insurer or lawyer tries denying the claim.

3. Determine Which Court Has Jurisdiction

Understand which court you should file with, or have your lawyer explain how jurisdiction in tort law works in Indiana. After determining the jurisdiction, you need to determine the appropriate court location. Next, determine which court has jurisdiction by checking the statutes that apply to your accident proceedings.

4. File a Complaint

The first step in suing is to file a complaint with the appropriate court. A complaint is also called a petition, pleading, or petition in law. This document must include the name of the person or company you are suing and why you have filed a lawsuit against them. If your case involves more than one party, there should be more than one plaintiff (the person bringing the claim) and the defendant (the person being sued). You can also sue more than one party. For instance, you can sue the person that hit your car in the accident and the company they work for (if the person was driving for business that day). Your attorney will explain how and why to sue more than one party, depending on your case’s circumstances.

5. Request Damages

Begin by submitting a request for damages. When you file a lawsuit in a civil court, you must be aware of the damages you request. On the other hand, when you seek compensation from the government, you must follow specific rules. If you fail to do so, your case may not be taken seriously and may be dismissed. You cannot file a lawsuit against a government agency just as you would file a personal injury lawsuit against an individual. The Indiana Tort Claims Act tells you what you can and cannot do when a government employee or agency causes your accident.

6. Response from Defendant

Describe the legal defenses that need to raise in response to the plaintiff’s case description and claims. For example, defend yourself against claims of damages, liability, or other matters for which you are also claiming protection. If your arguments are satisfactory to the court and it issues an “automatic” response, you will receive an official document confirming this notice.

7. Discovery Stage

Discovery is a process of disclosing evidence in anticipation of litigation. It is an interactive process where the parties exchange information, documents, and other items relevant to the lawsuit. Discovery is governed by different rules in every state but is similar across the nation. Discovery processes involve depositions, interrogatories, production requests, and admissions requests.

8. The Pre-Trial Stage

This stage is when a case goes to trial for the final judgment. During this stage, you and your lawyer may try to resolve your dispute by negotiating and coming to an agreement with the other party. However, suppose such discussions fail or are improper in your situation. In that case, you must prepare for trial and protect your interests by gathering evidence and witnesses, performing discovery, and submitting the necessary legal documents.

9. Courtroom Trial

After filing a case, the plaintiff and defendant must take action before they go to trial. These steps can include attending formal hearings that determine whether or not to dismiss the case, submitting expert witness reports and legal documents, presenting testimony in court, and requesting separate trials for individual issues within a point.

10. Judge Or Jury Issues a Verdict

At this stage, the judge or jury issues a verdict. The base of the judgment is on all the evidence presented during the trial. Finally, the jury has decided based on its collective opinions reported in the verdict.

11. File an Appeal

If you lose your case in court, a professional attorney will manage your appeal and give pieces of advice on how to proceed with your complaint.

Conclusion

The immediate effects of someone being a victim of someone else’s carelessness can be severe. Paying for medical treatment associated with the accident and necessities for recovery can pile up quickly. In addition, victims can find legal recourse in suing the responsible party for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, material damages, and more.

However, the process is time-consuming, hard, and complex. You should hire an attorney to manage everything while you recover from your injuries and try to get your life back on track.

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