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Is it better to default on a personal injury lawsuit or go to jury trial and be reamed for millions in punitive damages

Gadsden, AL |

im a alleged responsible party in a wreck, they send me a packet with request for place and time to be deposed, it was 60+miles away and just not possible i go there, but emailed said attorney and told him to come here. they told me to answer series of questions or i will be in default. there claiming personal injury, permanent injury, future "large" sums of money for medical bills, unable to peruse normal activities, property damages, "greatly" diminished future earnings capacity, lost work time, and all other damages entitled by law. which demands judgement against defendants severally for compensation and punitive damages in a amount determined by a jury. if i default then i can bypass jury and punitive damages??? can a judge determine punitive damages or just make me pay for damage

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Attorney answers 5


Retain counsel right away. When you do not appear just about anything can happen. If you had insurance make sure the insrance company is notified and speak only to the insurance carrier and your lawyer.

The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.


As you are being contacted directly by an attorney, I presume you do not have counsel. Is this because you did not have insurance in place? If you did, you absolutely need to contact that carrier and make them aware of the litigation, even if you are no longer with them, but were at the time.

You need counsel in this matter. Staying away is not your answer.


Were you intoxicated or just an accident? Talk to an attorney before you do anything.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Alabama. Responses are based solely on Alabama law unless stated otherwise.


I don't know what a "said" attorney is, but best bet is to get a lawyer to fight it


Take this case very seriously! If you do nothing and there are facts to support their claims for punitive damages, you may even be barred from bankrupting against this case.

No attorney-client relationship exists or is created by the answering of questions on Avvo or by any email communications resulting from Avvo unless and until a written contract creating such a relationship is executed by both the attorney and the client.

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