Greenville Personal Injury Attorney explains the lawsuit process in South Carolina…
Obviously during the course of my practice, I file and litigate many lawsuits.
One thing I find is that my clients often don’t understand the litigation process, so I’d like to take a minute to describe the process and explain how it works.
Any lawsuit is commenced by the filing and service of a Summons and Complaint by the person bringing the lawsuit, who is called the Plaintiff. The Summons commands the Defendant to appear in the lawsuit, and the Complaint sets forth the facts of the incident that is the subject of the suit.
If a defendant ignores the Summons and does not appear to defend the lawsuit, then it loses the right to contest liability in the suit.
More often, however, the defendant retains a lawyer, who files an Answer setting for the facts to which the defendant admits or denies.
Obviously, if they hired a lawyer they are unlikely to admit liability for the lawsuit, so the most common practice would be for the lawyers to undergo discovery in the case, which is the process by which the lawyers identify the witnesses and facts of the cases.
Typically, discovery begins by the lawyers serving Interrogatories and Requests for Production, whereby the other lawyer is required to answer certain questions and provide documents relating to the case.
Then the lawyers may take depositions, wherein the Plaintiff, Defendant and other witnesses may be required to appear before a court reporter and answer questions from the other lawyer under oath. This is the way that the other lawyer learns what the other side’s witnesses will testify to at trial.
In most counties, the Court will then require the parties to come to a mediation, where the lawyers and the parties go to the office of an independent lawyer who is not connected with the case, and that lawyer goes back and forth between the sides to see if he can help them settle their case.
The vast majority of lawsuits settle before they go to trial, whether at mediation or through other negotiations between the lawyers.
The cases that don’t settle will have a trial, wherein the parties will appear in court, and the case will be tried before a jury, who determines whether the defendant is liable to the plaintiff, and the amount of damages the defendant will be required to pay.
That in a nutshell, is the litigation process. In Greenville it usually takes between 14 months to a year and half from the date a plaintiff files its lawsuit to the day it gets to trial. In other smaller counties, it may take closer to two years.
My name is David Price, I’m a Personal Injury Lawyer, and I handle lawsuits every day.
If you were injured by another person, then I want to help you.
Please call me today at 864-271-2636, or visit my website at http://greenvillelegal.com