How a DE Car Accident Lawsuit is Initiated
In Delaware auto accident cases, a lawsuit is initiated by the filing of a Complaint and other required documents, such as Form 30 Interrogatory Answers and the Rule 3(h) Statement. The Complaint is a pleading or legal document which describes the accident, the injuries, damages, etc. The Complaint is filed by the plaintiff, the person injured in the car accident. The purpose of the Complaint is to put the other party, the defendant, on notice of the lawsuit and give them a fair opportunity to respond to the allegations.
Read part 1 of this article: Hurt in a Car Accident in Wilmington? Learn the Basics of Delaware Car/Auto Accident Lawsuits
Form 30 Interrogatories provide basic information about the case such as, contact information for witnesses, medical treatment providers, insurance information, medical providers for the last 10 years, etc. The 3(h) Statement details documents in the possession of Plaintiff’s attorney, such as medical records, and if a claim for lost wages is being made, the statement must indicate that the plaintiff’s tax returns are in the plaintiff’s possession or otherwise explain when they will be available.
The Complaint and accompanying documents must be properly served on the defendant. If the Defendant lives in Delaware, this generally requires service of process in person. In other words, a copy of the Complaint must be personally delivered to the defendant. Under Delaware court rules, the local sheriff’s office performs this function.
Where a DE Car Accident Lawsuit is Filed
In general, most car accident cases will be filed in the Superior Court as a jury trial case. Part 3 of this article discusses specifics of the process, such as what happens during the course of the case and how a case is resolved.
Wilmington, Delaware Courthouse address:
New Castle County Courthouse
500 North King Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Delaware Superior Court Tel: (302) 255-0800
Most car accident cases will be filed in the Superior Court as a jury trial case. It is important to note that some car accident cases may involve complex legal and factual issues, and in such cases, it may be best to attempt to waive a jury trial and instead have a judge decide those issues. For instance, a car accident case which involves complex issues such as multiple prior accidents and pre-existing injuries may be best decided by a judge, not a jury. However, both the Plaintiff and the Defendant have a right to a jury trial and it can only be waived if both agree.
When a DE Car Accident Lawsuit is Filed
In general, Delaware car accident law requires car accident lawsuits to be filed within 2 years of the date of the accident. In the majority of car accident cases, failure to file within that time frame will result in dismissal of the case. However, the ideal time to file a car accident lawsuit varies from case to case and depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. While the decision to take a negligent driver to court rests solely with the injured party, the attorney will determine the best time to actually file the lawsuit.
- Hurt in a Car Accident in Wilmington? Learn the Basics of Delaware Car/Auto Accident Lawsuits
- Hurt in a Car Accident in Wilmington? Learn the Basics of Delaware PIP Coverage Law
- Lost Wage and Salary Claims in a Delaware Car Accident Case – Documenting the Lost Wage Amount
Wilmington DE Car Accident Lawyer with Over 30 Years of Experience
Since 1982, firm founder, Martin Knepper, has served residents of Delaware in all personal injury matters, including car accidents and truck accidents. Contact our accident lawyers today and ask for a free consultation. (302) 658-1717
Our lawyers serve residents throughout the Delaware area, including: Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Middletown, and Smyrna. We also represent residents of other states such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia who are injured in car or truck accidents while in Delaware. For more information, please contact us.
*Disclaimer: This website page does not provide any legal advice or create any attorney-client relationship. Every case is unique and you should not take any action or make decisions in your case without speaking to a qualified car and truck accident lawyer in Delaware. Any discussion of results is no guarantee of the same or similar results in current or future cases.
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