Do I have any case?
On Aug 22nd I was in an auto accident where I believed I had the right of way(it was a green light and a clear intersection) but when I'd nearly cleared the intersection I was struck by another car. She said she was in a funeral procession--although there was at least a four car gap between her and the car in front of her. Unfortunately though all this I didn't have insurance-- but I've already dealt with that ticket. Neither of use were ticketed for the accident itself. Later she told me on the phone that the escort had left when the first half of the party went through. She also said on the phone that she was going to sue the funeral home. I never heard a word from her after that. Now I get served and she's suing me for $10,000. And the court date was 12 days after I received the papers.
I'm trying to find out how to get a continuance so I can find a lawyer in the small frame of time. I also want a professional opinion if I have any case for not having to pay her off, and maybe getting anything back?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Re: Do I have any case?
Based upon the facts you described, you may have grounds for a counter claim against the lady that is suing you. You must actg quickly, in order to preserve your ability to bring this claim. If you have nto yet had the first court date, you will certainly be able to have the case set over. The initial docket call is to see if the charges are being denied, and if the case needs to go forward, or judgement granted for the plaintiff now. Go to Court, deny the plaintiffs claims, when the Judge asks if you agree that you owe what the plaintiff alleges you do. Then, retain an attorney as soon as is practicable. It would be better to have an attorney before your first court date.
Re: Do I have any case?
There are several issues at play here. First, you need to at least consult with an attorney to discuss your defense options. You have 30 days after being served with the lawsuit to file an Answer. If you do not file an answer, you could face a default judgment.
Also, you also need to determine if you should be bringing a claim. In Missouri, there is a compulsory counterclaim rule which means that you need to bring (as a part of this current litigation) any claim arising out of this accident or you could lose your claim forever.
I would be happy to discuss this situation with you and help stear you in the right direction.