If I am being sued in small claims court by the insurer of the guy who hit me, how do I respond?

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If I am being sued in small claims court by the insurer of the guy who hit me, how do I respond?

Do I need to counter sue?

Asked on December 21, 2011 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You will need to file with the court an answer to the complaint.  The complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons.  The answer denies the allegations in the complaint.  If you don't file an answer within the time set forth in the summons (attached to the complaint), the opposing party will file a default which means you will have lost.  If that happens, you will need to file a motion to set aside the default.  If the court grants your motion to set aside the default, the case is then back on track and litigation will continue.

When filing your answer to the complaint, you should also file a cross-complaint.  The cross-complaint is the countersuit.

The documents that you file with the court (answer to complaint, cross-complaint, etc.) should have a proof of service attached.  The proof of service verifies the date of mailing a copy of your documents to the opposing party. You can use a court form proof of service.  The Small Claims Court advisor will help you with filing an answer to the complaint and the cross-complaint.  Small Claims Court may have forms you can use to file the answer and cross-complaint.


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