The next document to be filed is the defendant's answer to the complaint. In the answer, a defendant will respond to each portion of the complaint with either "admitted," "denied," or "insufficient knowledge to admit or deny."
The Discovery Process in your Car Accident Claim
Even before the defendant's legal team is preparing the answer, the process of "discovery" begins. Discovery ensures that there are no legal surprises by which a litigant might be caught off-guard.
Your Harrison County car accident lawyer can request any documents relating to the claim be produced, including witness affidavits, written depositions, medical records, and any other form of information he or she deems relevant to the case. Your Harrison County car accident lawyer must return all such requests by the defendant's legal counsel in kind during the process of discovery.
Counterclaims and Cross-Claims in a West Virginia Car Accident Claim
Counterclaims may arise in a West Virginia car accident claim when the defendant asserts a cause of action against you (the plaintiff) stemming from the same accident. For example, if the defendant also suffered injuries for which they hold you responsible.
Cross-claims occur in multiple party lawsuits. This often coincides with a West Virginia car accident wherein multiple cars were involved. An example might be if you sue 2 drivers for your damages.
One of the named defendants may bring a cross-claim against the other, asserting that they sustained injury from something the other defendant did in the same accident.
Third-Party Complaints in a West Virginia Car Accident Claim
Third-party complaints are commonplace in a West Virginia car accident claim. You or the defendant may file a third-party complaint against the insurance company or another liable party who were not directly present in the car accident, such as a manufacturer of a defective product that contributed to the accident or injuries sustained.
The purpose of the third-party complaint is to effectively bring all liable parties into the lawsuit.