FAQ About Lawsuits
What happens if I sue someone in California State Court?
To commence a civil, unlimited action against someone or an entity, a party, known as the Plaintiff, must file a complaint in the proper county’s superior court. The other party, known as the defendant, must file a responsive pleading with the court within a statutorily defined time period. Once all parties have appeared in the action, the case is “at issue.” For more details about filing a lawsuit, contact one of our Accident attorneys at (559) 431-1300 or fill out our simple and confidential form.
What happens if I am sued in a California State Court?
If you are sued in an unlimited, civil action in a California county superior court, the first step is known as the “pleading phase,” where you usually must file a responsive pleading to the complaint within a statutorily set time period. Once all parties have appeared in the action, the case is “at issue.” For more detail on what happens if you are sued, contact one of our Insurance defense attorneys at (559) 431-1300 or fill out our simple and confidential form.
What is the litigation process for an unlimited, civil action filed in California state court?
Once the parties file their complaints, cross-complaint, and responsive pleadings, the case is “at issue,” and the Court may schedule a trial date. During this time, the parties commence the “discovery phase,” which means that each party has the right to seek information from the other party or a third party, via written questions, depositions, subpoenas, requests for admissions, and document requests.
As trial approaches the litigation then enters into the “expert phase,” where each party can designate experts and examine the other parties’ experts before trial, depending on the type of case. Although every county is different, the litigants typically will participate in some type of Alternative Dispute resolution process, such as mediations, mandatory settlement conferences, non-binding arbitration, etc.
If the case does not settle after the pleadings, discovery, and expert phases, the matter may proceed to trial, either by jury or by a bench trial (the trial is before a judge without a jury). After a verdict is entered, a judgment will be issued in favor of the victorious party. At such time, the parties may seek an appeal to the appellate courts. For more detail on the litigation process, contact one of our attorneys at (559) 431-1300 or fill out our simple and confidential form.
What type of damages can I recover in a personal injury action?
It all depends on your injuries and the type of case you possess. Damages are typically divided into two categories: Special Damages and General Damages. Special Damages refer to your economic damages or the “out of pocket” expenses you incurred, and typically refer to medical bills, property damage, loss earnings, etc. General Damages reference the non-economic or "intangible" losses naturally flowing from the injury and which are not quantifiable by reference to bills or receipts. Most typically, general damages compensate for "pain and suffering" and consequential emotional distress caused by the subject accident. For more detail on whether you incurred recoverable damages, contact one of our Accident attorneys at (559) 431-1300 or fill out our simple and confidential form.