How do I file a lawsuit to protect my rights – S of L expiring in 2 days

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How do I file a lawsuit to protect my rights – S of L expiring in 2 days

The other party paid for vehicle repair but has been extremely belligerent toward us although OP was 100% at fault in a rear end collision. My husband just got his prognosis report from his dr after almost 2 years of treatment after surgery. He has permanentlife altering documented quantifiable injuries. I believe OP has only state req. liability. Our policy has 100K under/uninsured. Is 25K the max that can be collected from OP and can I file a lawsuit before a demand letter in order to preserve rights? I attempted to engage an attorney but he dropped the ball before I could sign a retainer agreement. I have handled various legal matters pro se and done quite well but I am in over my head.

Asked on January 17, 2017 under Accident Law, Oklahoma


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You should immediately file the lawsuit before the demand letter has been sent or written  because the statute of limitations is about to expire.  If the statute of limitations tolls (expires), your husband will have lost his rights forever in the matter.
If the statute of limitations expires on Jan. 19, 2017, you must file your lawsuit no later than Jan. 18, 2017.
If your state has court forms for filing a lawsuit for negligence in an auto accident case, use those in the interest of time.  If your state does not have those forms, you will need to go to the law library and look in Pleading and Practice for a sample complaint for negligence in a  personal injury case.  Ask the law librarian for help in finding the appropriate items.  Include the verification.  Use the sample complaint as a model for writing your complaint.  Insert your facts where indicated.
Include a summons with the complaint.  Bring extra copies of the summons and complaint to the court and pay the filing fee.  The court will give you a conformed (court-stamped) copy. Some courts may require additional forms such as a cover sheet, etc.  Check with the court clerk to be certain you have filed all of the required documents because if the court rejects your documents, the file stamp will be cancelled and you will miss the statute of limitations.
If the at-fault party's policy limit is $25,000, that is the maximum that can be recovered without filing a lawsuit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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