What are the steps in filing a personal injury lawsuit in Arizona?
1. Your personal injury lawyer will first file a complaint with the Superior Court of Arizona or another Arizona Court. This legal document must be filed within the applicable statue of limitations, which in most cases, in Arizona, is anywhere from 180 days to two years. This is important because a complaint is very different from a claim, which you may have already filed yourself. A claim simply states the facts to an insurance company, concerning an accident. Again, this is an important distinction because filing only a claim may cause you to miss the applicable statue of limitations in Arizona.
Additionally, because Arizona is a notice pleading state, as a personal injury victim, you will be required to provide brief details in the complaint.
2. The completed complaint needs to be filed with the appropriate Court. At this time your case will be given a court case number, which will allow the litigation documents to be delivered or “served” to the Defendant.
Note: It is not always a fast process to “serve” someone. A process server, will be hired to locate and deliver the documents to the Defendant may need time to do his or her job. It is also important to note that in some cases a Defendant may be avoiding the process server, as he or she may not want to be found and appropriately “served.” Rest assured, however, that the legal system is designed to protect victims. Eventually, with or without locating the Defendant, the Defendant will be “served” through one of several processes.
3. Once the appropriate documents have been “served” to the Defendant, the insurance company will then hire an attorney to defend the negligent party, and begin the process of litigating your case.
The steps listed here are only the first few steps in the legal road to receiving a fair settlement. The path your case takes from here varies greatly, depending on your individual case and specific needs. Oracle Law Group represents personal injury victims throughout Arizona, including Tempe, Chandler, Apache Junction, Gilbert, Ahwatukee, Avondale, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Tucson.