What to do if I’m being sued for a car accident but have not filed a written answer with the county clerk?

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What to do if I’m being sued for a car accident but have not filed a written answer with the county clerk?

It was due today at 10:00 am. I mistakenly thought I had another week to file. What do I do? I can not afford an attorney at this time and am hoping to do this on my own.

Asked on February 3, 2014 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

File the answer immediately: it may be accepted, especially if there have been any supervening court closures (e.g. due to weather) and if the other side does not call out the fact that it is late. If the court or the other side tries to throw the answer out as late, make a motion to the court to have it accepted late; in the motion, call out the fact that you are pro se, or representing yourself (courts often allow extra slack to pro se litigants) and also highlight any other factors in your favor. The courts prefer matters to be adjudicated, or decided, on their merits; you will have a good chance of the answer being allowed.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I suggest you immediately call, e mail and fax the plaintiff's counsel that you will file the answer this Monday and serve it upon him or her. Contact your insurance carrier for your car that was in the accident immediately about the lawsuit. Possibly you have coverage for the mishap and the carrier will provide you with legal counsel.


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