In civil litigation, timing is crucial no matter which side you're on. If you've recently received notice of a personal injury claim or another civil suit against you, you only have a certain amount of time to provide a response. Because there are strict legal requirements regarding your response as well as strategies to consider, The Law Office of Peter A. McInish in Dothan, AL, recommends hiring a civil litigation lawyer as soon as possible.
When you receive a letter or summons regarding the claim, the deadline for your response should be included in the document. It should also include information regarding who you can contact with questions or to file a response. All of this information is vital. If you fail to reply in the allotted time, a judgment may be made against you by default.
When you send your response, it will be in the form of a legal document called an answer. Your answer must include your response to each claim the plaintiff has made against you. Any points not addressed in your answer will be considered true by the court, so this is your one chance to explain your side of the story. Your answer should be filed with the court and also sent to the plaintiff, after which you can propose mediation or start preparing for your court case.
Handled properly, your response defends against the suit and also keeps other options open, allowing you to propose a settlement or mediation, request to have the lawsuit dismissed, or request a different time or location for a court date. A lawyer can help you decide which strategy will be most effective in your case.
No matter how you choose to respond to civil litigation against you, a good attorney is an essential part of the process. From counseling you on your options to making sure the details of your paperwork are correct, a civil litigation lawyer will keep your case running smoothly and help you avoid mistakes. If you've been served with a civil suit, call The Law Office of Peter A. McInish at (334) 671-2555 or contact the office online.