It can be disconcerting to be served with a lawsuit, even if you are expecting it. The best way to handle a lawsuit is to speak to a lawyer. In the meantime, try looking at the case in logical terms by reviewing the important points of the suit. Read on, be calm, and take action.

What to do First

Read through the lawsuit and get a better idea of the case. In many cases, the suit will be full of jargon, boilerplate text, and scary-sounding consequences. Lawsuits are not (usually) about a crime but are civil matters. You cannot go to jail because of a lawsuit but you could end up owing a lot of money to the plaintiffs (the people or entities suing you).

The first page of the lawsuit names the parties. In the case of a car accident, the parties would include both the drivers and the insurance company. Also listed is the court or the venue. The lawsuit may be headed "a prayer for relief" or "complaint". What you should note is that you have a certain number of days to respond to the suit. Doing nothing is not an option. The response you give to the suit is known as an answer. That is because your lawyer will be answering each complaint in the lawsuit, one by one.

The Elements of a Car Accident Suit

Most of the time, you are aware that a suit could be coming because you have been working with your insurer to resolve matters outside of court. However, not all car accidents can be worked out without the help of a judge and jury. The key thing to note in the lawsuit is what you are accused of failing to do. Three elements should be satisfied with the lawsuit:

  1. A Duty of Care: This means that you owed the other driver a duty to drive carefully and not cause a wreck. If you were nowhere near the accident scene, however, the first element has failed.
  2. Harm Was Done: With auto accidents, the plaintiff must show that they were physically injured. While emotional and psychological harm is possible, it must be alongside physical injuries to meet the parameters of a car accident case.
  3. The Harm Done Caused Damages: Car accident damages go beyond a wrecked car. They also include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Each form of damage must be proved using evidence.

Speak to a personal injury law firm in your area such as Distefano Law PLC about representation in court.