Stage 1 in a Personal Injury Suit: Filing Paperwork

By dtaw on March 02, 2016

A client and attorney filing paperworkThe lawyers of Tawwater Law Firm, PLLC have helped countless accident and injury victims I Oklahoma City and throughout the state. Our experienced accident and personal injury attorneys have the legal know-how to empower clients and help them through even the most difficult legal issues.

Many people are unaware of what goes into a personal injury claim. Let's take a moment to go over these matters right now, starting with the initial paperwork.

Initiating Your Case Within the Statute of Limitations

It's important that anyone filing a lawsuit make sure the process is started within the statute of limitations. This is a set amount of time during which a case must be filed. Failure to file a case within this set amount of time means you cannot pursue legal action.

The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in the state of Oklahoma is 2 years.

Filing a Complaint

Also known as a petition, filing a complaint is the first step in the legal process. This document outlines a plaintiff's case against the defendant. In the complaint, each of the parties is identified, the facts of the case are discussed, and the exact nature of the legal claim is noted. This complaint will often demand some form of prayer of relief/judgment that requests the defendant pay damages or be subject to some form of legal punishment.

Summons and Service of Process

A summons is an official court document that informs the defendant of the plaintiff's legal action. This document will often set forth a strict amount of time for the defendant to reply to the summons and take appropriate action.

This summons must be served to the defendant, which means the the document must be delivered to the defendant after said defendant has identified himself or herself. Once the summons is served, the court is given jurisdiction over the case.

Defendant Responds to the Complaint

The defendant responds to the plaintiff's complaint with an official answer. There are three forms that an answer may take:

  • Admitted
  • Denied
  • Insufficient knowledge to admit or deny

Some defendant answers outline why he or she is not legally liable for the incident noted in the complaint.

Counterclaims and Cross-Claims

Some cases involve the defendant making a counterclaim against the plaintiff. This counterclaim is essentially another complaint, though issued by the defendant to the plaintiff, requiring an answer to the complaint.

This process may become more complex should more than two parties be involved in a case. When there are multiple parties with multiple claims, this is known as a cross-claim.

Personal Injury Attorneys Are Crucial in This Process

Given the complexities noted, going it alone is not a good idea in the vast majority of cases. It's important that you seek legal help from skilled attorneys in your, ones who can help you file the necessary paperwork and understand the process at a step-by-step level.

Speak with Our Team of Injury Attorneys

For more information about your legal options and how a team of lawyers can help you, be sure to contact our team of personal injury attorneys today. The team at Tawwater Law Firm, PLLC is here to fight for you and provide you with all the information you need for successful case resolution.

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