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Defense atty filed a bunch of papers, and recently also sent me an Offer to Compromise, per CCP 998.. how do I respond to that?

Roseville, CA |

I'm the Plaintiff in car accident, accepted. Issues with settlement amount, I filed a case in civil court to protect the statute.
3 wks ago the def atty sent a bunch of pleadings (not court stamped) which I'm not sure what to do with them, aside the obvious ones. He's requesting among other things, a Jury Trial!
2 wks ago I received an Offer to Compromise, per CCP 998 for $8,600.. The amount is less that the previous three ones.. I wrote to him to send me a breakdown on how he arrived to that amount. Got a reply instead from ins. adjuster saying she requested the atty to send me the 998 and the offer was based on what she believes a jury will decide. The med bills paid by MC and myself are $9,700. I made a demand of $15,000. Previous adjusters have come up with amounts. Thank you much!!

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Attorney answers 1

Posted

Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

It will be very wise for you to retain an attorney as it seems you are not familiar with the litigation process. Parties to litigation must serve papers on each other before filing them with the court; hence, items such as Answer, request for jury trial, case management statement, etc., would first be served on you and then filed with the Court. You need to check and see if any if the items served on you require a response (e.g. motions, discovery requests), and if so, what is your deadline to respond. A statutory "offer to compromise" under Section 998 of the California Code of Civil Procedure it a tool that serves two purposes: it can help the parties settle the case, and if no settlement is reached, it can function as a cost-shifting tool. This can be very significant in cases (such as personal injury) where experts are typically used and the expert fees may be very significant. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

Asker

Posted

Thanks so much for your quick reply. I have tried to retain an atty but unfortunately was not very successful. We have a court date for January 2014. I checked the courts calendar there are four entries for "demurrer" in a week or so, which I'm supposed to call the court.. not clear what that is about though. Any additional information immensely welcomed!! Thanks again so much for your help.

Robin Mashal

Robin Mashal

Posted

(See Disclaimers Above): You need to URGENTLY retain an attorney. A demurrer is an attack to your complaint. You (or your attorney) should timely prepare written opposition papers, serve them on the defense lawyer, and file them with the Court. Otherwise, you losing the entire lawsuit.

Asker

Posted

Thanks again Mr. Mashal for your much appreciated help! I have an appt with the legal help clerk tomorrow, hopefully I can get some direction then. The deadline for replying I think it's DEc. 7. I'm not sure why there are two sets of form interrogatories... I was the person injured in this case and the insurance admitted liability already. Can I still go thru my own auto insurance at this point and have them pay for my expenses and then file a lien against the other party? Thanks again!!

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