The rules that apply to civil trials are different than the rules that apply to criminal trials. Depending on what court it is in, the rules may be different. Depending on what type of suit it is, the rules may be different. A very basic thumbnail sketch of the process is that you must file an answer or a motion to dismiss, if the suit proceeds, discovery is done, which means an investigation through court process, which may be written or by deposition, motions may be filed for a variety of things, and then there is a trial. Again depending on the type of case, the trial may be a jury trial or a bench trial. A bench trial is what a trial in front of a judge is called. If you have been sued, you should consult with an attorney.
Ms. Morcraft is correct. One other issue I think it is important to know is that if there is any indication that the other party was hurt and there is a likelihood that their damages will be more than your policy limits you should hire a lawyer to put pressure on your insurance company to get a release and settle your case.
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Please be advised that answering your questions does not establish an attorney-client relationship with myself or my firm. We would be more than happy to set up a free consultation if you call us at 407-228-3838 and specifically mention AVVO or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put AVVO in the subject line.
I agree with my coleagues. If this case stems from a criminal act, the state will seek restitution (ie ask you to pay damages to the other party.) If that happens, the other parties will not be allowed to collect twice.
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Contact through this site alone does not establish a client lawyer relationship. This information is not to be used as a substitute for consulting with an attorney. I or any of the attorneys at longwelllawyers would be happy to give a free consultation. Call 407-426-5757.