What Happens if the Defendant in Your Personal Injury Case Ignores Your Lawsuit?

Defendant Ignores You

Most people tend to think that defendants in lawsuits always put up a fight. If you’re involved in a slip and fall or car accident, wouldn’t you expect the defendant to respond? For example, imagine you fall in your local grocery store. You end up in the hospital and require surgery. You’re out of work for eight weeks. You talk to a local personal injury lawyer in Charlotte and they give you two options. You can file a claim against the store’s insurance policy, or you can file a lawsuit. You figure you have a better shot at getting paid by the insurance company, so you file a claim.

Once your attorney files your claim, you would hope to see your claim be approved. If this is the case, you should have your check within a week or two. However, what if your claim is denied? Or, what if you find out the defendant has no insurance? In situations like this, you won’t have a choice but to file suit. You also don’t want to wait too long to file suit. If you do, there’s a chance you’ll miss the statute of limitations period. If that happens, your case will be dismissed, and you’re have no shot at getting paid damages.

Once you file suit, the ball will be set in motion. Your attorney will file something called a complaint. If the defendant responds, the case will go through the normal process. However, if they ignore your complaint, what happens? Here, we’ll talk about what to do in this situation. We’ll also talk about the legal process in general so you know how a case would normally proceed.

If the Defendant Ignores You, Then You Will Get a Default Judgment

As with any other sort of civil case, if the defendant ignores you, then you may be entitled to a default judgment. A default judgment is when the defendant in a civil case ignores the complaint and fails to file a response. A default judgment can be good and bad.

Some of the reasons a default judgment is good includes the following:

  • You could have judgment against the defendant within a month or two. If the defendant lets more than 35 days go by without filing a response, you can apply for a default judgment. This judgment is almost as good as any other sort of judgment.
  • You won’t have to worry about the defendant winning their case and having your lawsuit dismissed. If they completely ignore the lawsuit, you don’t have to put up a fight. The judge will grant you judgment based on your complaint alone.

As nice as it may seem to get a default judgment, there are also reasons you don’t want a default judgment. The kind of person who ignores a lawsuit is usually the kind of person who has nothing to lose. This means that your judgment won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on. Having a judgment against someone isn’t the end of the matter. You have to then execute that judgment. This means filing a lien against the defendant’s assets. If they have no assets, you may never see a dime.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina

If you or your loved one is hurt in any sort of accident, you need a lawyer. While there’s no law saying you need to hire a personal injury law firm in Charlotte, it’s a good idea to do so. If you need to file a lawsuit, you want someone by your side who understands the legal process. You also want an experienced lawyer there in the event that your case takes an unusual turn. If the defendant doesn’t respond to your complaint, your attorney will know what to do. In fact, they’ll know how to take advantage of this situation.

Call and talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Charlotte today. Let them review your case and try to reach out to the defendant. If the defendant has a lawyer, they’ll try to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. They’ll also look to see if the defendant has insurance that may be able to cover your injuries. Either way, it’s better to have someone by your side than to try to handle it on your own. Call today and schedule your initial consultation. It’s absolutely free and you don’t owe a dime until you win your case.