An answer is a formal legal document that responds to the allegations set forth in the complaint. If you have auto insurance you need to call them ASAP. They will have an attorney file the answer.
DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
You need to turn the petition you received over to your insurance company immediately so they can hire a lawyer to file the Answer for you. If you didn't have insurance at the time of the wreck, then you need to consult with a personal injury or insurance defense attorney immediately. There is a deadline within which you need to file your Answer or the court could enter a Default Judgment against you. In some states, this deadline to Answer is as short as 21 days from the date you are served with the lawsuit.
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If you were insured at the time of the accident, you need to give the complaint to your insurance company. Do not wait because there is a deadline to answer. The insurance company will defend the case on your behalf. Depending on the damages and who the insurance company is, they may try to settle quickly. If they do not, you likely will have some degree of participation in the case. Good luck.
Unless you are paying all that is being sought from you out of your own pocket you must turn the Complaint over to your insurance carrier to defend and cooperate with their defense against the claim.
If you had motor vehicle insurance on the date of the accident you need to notify your insurance company immediately. In most cases they will hire an attorney to defend you and settle the case up to your applicable policy limits. If you unnecessarily delay in notifying your insurance company, they may be able to avoid providing you with coverage.
Submit the claim to your insurance carrier. You have a duty to cooperate and help defend the claim. If you fail to cooperate, the insurance company can disclaim coverage, and that would leave you on the hook for any damages.
The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney unless and until we sign a retainer agreement.
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