How to write a written response when being sued

Asked about 2 years ago - Santa Clarita, CA

i have 30 days to write a written response back to the court house. i was wondering what i have to write in there? do i have to write my side of the story.. this is for a car accident.. does anyone know the form to write it in or what i need to write this response. someone please help

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you have the possibility of insurance coverage, it is imperative that you tender the defense of the unlimited jurisdiction lawsuit to your insurance carrier immediately. Under California law, the insurance company must either defend and indemnify you, or tell you in writing why there is no insurance coverage or that the carrier is defending you under a reservation of rights.

    In the event there is no insurance coverage AND you absolutely cannot afford an attorney to defend you, you can represent yourself "in pro per". You would file either an Answer or a General Denial, and pay the first appearance filing fee.

    The form for the Answer is (Judicial Council Form PLD-C-010):

    http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/pldc010.pdf

    The form for the General Denial is (Judicial Council Form PLD-050):

    http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/pld050.pdf

    If you cannot afford the first appearance filing fee, you may apply for a fee waiver. See:

    http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-lowcosthelp.h...

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is... more
  2. Sean Anthony Brady

    Contributor Level 15

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Go speak with an attorney. If it was for a car accident, insurance may pay for your lawyer. Even if it doesn't, you should speak with an attorney about your case and your options. Most offer free consultation. Don't just try to write a response by yourself. An attorney can at least point you in the right direction, though ideally you would have one represent you through the entire matter. Good luck.

    Michel & Associates, PC
    (562) 216-4444

    All my comments here are intended for general legal purposes. None of my comments here establish an attorney-... more
  3. Catherine Elizabeth Bennett

    Contributor Level 15

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . My colleagues are correct that you should tender this matter to your auto insurance company immediately. Take a copy to your insurance agent.

    If you end up having to do this yourself, keep in mind that you must answer within 30 days of being served. Go to the closest law library and the librarian can show you books and other materials to help you answer the complaint.

    The bottom line is, no, you don't tell your side of the story. You need to answer the complaint by admitting or denying (usually a general denial to all claims) and assert your affirmative defenses.

    I am licensed only in California and this response is provided as general information only. It is not intended to... more
  4. Marilynn Mika Spencer

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You are severely disadvantaged without an attorney. Just because the law allows people to represent themselves in court does not mean it's a good idea. People are allowed to treat their own upset stomachs, but in serious cases, they have to go to a doctor.

    Mr. Chen has provided good information if you absolutely must represent yourself. Another thing to do is go to your county law library and ask the reference librarian to direct you to form books for personal injury law.

    *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your... more

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