California falls in line with the rest of the nation in the seven most common types of lawsuits filed to initiate court proceedings. The most common lawsuits involve the following:
• Car accidents
• Medical malpractice
• Worker’s compensation claims
• Slip and fall
• Products liability
• Dog bites
• Drug recalls
If you are considering filing a lawsuit for these or any other type of lawsuit, you need to obtain strong legal representation to protect your interests. Therefore, contact our law firm and ask to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions.
What is a Civil Lawsuit in California?
California defines a civil lawsuit as those in which companies or private citizens pursue legal proceedings against each other in court. A civil case is the opposite of a criminal case and does not involve any aspect of breaking the law.
Some examples of civil cases are:
• Disputes over contracts.
• General civil cases such as those that deal with property damage, or an individual being injured
• Small claims cases that amount to $10,000 or less
• Family law cases involving child support, child custody, divorce, or adoption
• Landlord-tenant disputes
How Do You Respond to a Lawsuit?
After you, the defendant, has been served the appropriate legal paperwork, you will have 30 calendar days to file a written response with the court. Law requires you to respond and inform the court of how you plan to proceed. When you file a response, you establish with the court that you intend to contest the case. In doing so, the plaintiff will be made aware that they will have to prove their case at trial.
If you fail to respond within 30 days, the court may issue a default judgment against you, which the other party automatically wins. At this point, the court will not hear any legal arguments you may try to present.
How Long Does a Person Have to File a Lawsuit?
California has strict laws governing the statute of limitations and how long you must file a claim. You have two years from the accident date to file a claim if you have been injured. However, if your claim is against a governmental organization such as a state agency, city, or county, the time limit is reduced to 6 months.
If you feel that you have a personal injury claim, the most crucial step that you can take to protect your future is to speak with a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Even though two years may seem like a long time, it can work to your disadvantage. Witnesses may move away, memories fade, or evidence disappears, making your case even more challenging.
When Should I Hire an Attorney if I Want to File a Lawsuit?
Depending on the individual circumstances that surround your case, you should hire an attorney as soon as you have been injured or realize that the other party does not want to cooperate. When you hire an attorney, they can assist you in making legal determinations about who should be held liable and what types of damages to ask for based on your case.
We will be happy to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have. Contact our law firm by calling (310) 431-9875 to schedule a free consultation.