The California Lawsuit Rule
Are you interested in filing a lawsuit? There are certain rules that you have to follow when you file a lawsuit. If you don’t follow the rules, your lawsuit may not hold up in court. You are not required to pay anything upfront for your lawsuit. In California, as in many other states, filing a lawsuit requires you to be prepared to spend some money.
This is referred to as the defendants’ deposit. The plaintiff’s deposit, on the other hand, is meant to be used for paying for things such as attorney’s fees and court costs. The rule of thumb is that plaintiffs who win their case must pay their attorneys, unless there is a written stipulation between both parties.
The next thing you need to know about California Litigation Rule 3.740 is that a plaintiff is only entitled to receive the damages that he or she is able to prove are due to his or her negligence.
No damages can be awarded if the defendant had no negligence. The law on this point is called contributory negligence. A plaintiff cannot recover damages if the case was caused by the defendant’s own negligence. Another way of putting it is that the plaintiff can recover damages even though it looks like the case was caused by the defendants (although the defendant didn’t do anything wrong). You need to consult with an experienced attorney if you are unsure about this.
What about contingent damages? Suppose you are injured in an accident, and you are suing your car dealership for medical bills and pain and suffering.
If the car dealership doesn’t do anything to prevent the accident, then you can recover your damages from them. In other words, if they don’t cover your car repair bills, you can sue them. Contingent damages claim must be filed within a reasonable time after the accident.
If the plaintiffs are unable to successfully sue for damages, some people choose to go to court instead.
This is referred to as an assignment of responsibility lawsuit. Basically, the plaintiff signs an agreement waiving any right he has to file a lawsuit in return for the defendant or their insurance company paying for any legal costs. It is much like agreeing to sign a contract without being aware of what it entails. Usually, once this type of lawsuit is filed, the plaintiff is released from all rights to pursue the case; even if the defendants do not admit liability.
What about statute of limitations laws?
Statutes of limitations generally restrict the time a plaintiff can file a lawsuit. This is usually seen as a formality, since courts usually allow time to pass before someone can bring a lawsuit against a defendant. In cases of personal injuries, this rule may extend to the personal injury attorneys. However, the same goes for cases involving product defects.
When both lawyers involved agree to a limited time period in which the plaintiffs’ attorney can seek damages, this is referred to as a colloquy.
The terms of the agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant can be described in California Civil Code Section 566. Once the parties reach a settlement on the time limit for plaintiffs to file their lawsuit, the case will be dismissed. The defense lawyers can then ask the court to dismiss the case, allowing the plaintiff to collect on his potential damages.
When the defendant refuses to settle the dispute or opts out of the case, the plaintiff is required to pursue it through California civil courts. Once again, these rules depends on the nature of the case. Some personal injury lawsuits involve lengthy discovery periods, with depositions taken from both sides of the argument. For more information on the specific rules, contact a personal injury attorney.