Filing a Car Accident Case in Dorchester
Simply believing another driver is responsible for an automobile accident is not enough to make a case to seek compensation. Even settlement talks may fail to bring an injured individual the compensation they need, so sometimes it is necessary to ask a Massachusetts court to decide the matter.
Pursuing compensation through a civil trial in Massachusetts is a complex and time-consuming matter. It is essential for potential plaintiffs to understand how filing a car accident case in Dorchester could bring necessary relief but must be undertaken with precision. An intelligent and accomplished car accident lawyer could guide individuals throughout the car accident claims process.
Choosing the Correct Court
Courts in Massachusetts have the authority—or jurisdiction—to hear cases regarding personal injuries that happened within the state’s borders. However, Massachusetts maintains three levels of trial courts that may consider an individual civil matter. An attorney could help clients to value their cases and to pursue claims in the proper Dorchester courthouse.
Small Claims Court
All claims demanding less than $5,000 in damages are matters for small claims court. Car accidents in Dorchester rarely results in demands for this low level of compensation.
District Courts can hear personal injury cases where the plaintiff demands a maximum of $50,000 in compensation. Most car accident cases where the plaintiff made or will make a full recovery fall into this category.
The Superior Court has jurisdiction to hear claims demanding over $50,000. Since Dorchester is a part of Boston, the Suffolk County Superior Court hears these cases.
Filing the Case
Once a plaintiff selects a court, they must prepare a complaint. Massachusetts Rule of Civil Procedure 3 states that the plaintiff must then file this complaint through the mail or in person. However, this process is more complex than it may initially appear.
First, the complaint must name a defendant. In car accident cases, this is typically the at-fault driver and their insurance company. The complaint must then identify a cause of action for the plaintiff to bring the case to court. In car accident cases, plaintiffs typically identify legal negligence as the cause of action.
Finally, the complaint must include a basic statement of fact that led to the filing of the complaint. This can include information about how the accident occurred and a police report detailing the facts of the collision.
The plaintiff must serve a copy of this complaint upon all defendants. This must be accomplished by using a sheriff’s service to deliver a certified copy of the complaint directly into the hands of the defendant. Only once these procedural steps are complete will a court begin the long process of trying the case.
Filing a Dorchester Car Accident Case is a Complex Process
In rare instances, a car accident victim may need to file a complaint in court to collect compensation. This involves a process of identifying the correct defendants, placing the facts of the incident within an established cause of action, and authoring a complaint that details the reasons why compensation is necessary. Only then can a plaintiff select a proper court for the case and submit the necessary paperwork to initiate the claim.
Any failure to follow any of these steps may result in a defendant filing a motion to dismiss the case and leave an injured individual without a remedy. An attorney could help you with every stage of filing a car accident case in Dorchester, so call today to discuss your options and see how a qualified car accident lawyer could help you.