When you file an answer, will set out whether the defendant denies or admits certain allegations in your complaint. It will also set out any affirmative defenses. The defendant can also assert a counter-claim in their answer as well, but that type of response rarely arises in tort cases (injuries) like truck accident cases or slip and fall claims.
What information does an answer include?
When you and your attorney create your petition, it will set out specific factual allegations in numbered paragraphs. The defendant is required to respond to each of those numbers. Sometimes that response is simply that the allegation is admitted or denied. Other, further responses may be included if the defendant agrees with part of the paragraph, but not another portion of it. They might also want to explain their denial in more detail in some situations.
Generally, an answer includes minimal information because you already know that the person you are suing is going to deny your claim. In most cases, you wouldn’t have filed the lawsuit if the other person agreed with you on every aspect of the claim. But, the defendant’s answer can sometimes be helpful to pinpoint exactly what information the defendant disagrees with.
What happens if the defendant doesn’t answer?
Defendants are required to answer within 30 days of service. But, service doesn’t necessarily mean the same day that you filed the complaint. Instead, you must, in many cases, personally serve the other party with your petition and summons. That often means that a sheriff or another party designed to serve people (such as a formal process server) will present your legal paperwork to the defendant in person. In some cases, it can be difficult to track down a defendant so they may have much more time to answer from the date that you actually filed the petition.
If a defendant has been served properly and still does not answer, you can get a default judgment against that person. By not responding, the defendant has essentially admitted all of your allegations—you won! You can request a default judgment that provides you with money damages to address your losses after an accident. Although this process may seem simple, it can be complicated because you may still need to show the court what damages you are entitled to receive and collect on that money. John Foy & Associates can help you work through this process.
Getting Help with Your Legal Claim
Have you or a loved one been injured due to an accident? Are you thinking about starting a legal claim? It’s a good idea to speak with an experienced attorney about your options. John Foy & Associates can sit down with you, go through the facts of your case, and help you determine what your next steps should be. Don’t wait—Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.