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.