What and how am I going to do to defend myself? 18 Answers as of September 23, 2013

I was on a car accident back in September 15.2005. I was making a left turn and in the middle of my turn the light went from green to yellow than red. I had to keep going or I would have been in the middle of the street. A car coming forward kept going and hit the backside of the truck on the passenger side back tire. 8 years later I get a summons that was filed December 12, 2012 two days ago. She is suing me for 25,000 for damages and injuries. I have to appear in the court within 30 days to plea my case. I can’t afford a lawyer. What do I do to defend myself and how should I do this? I need someone help to figure this out. Thank you.

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James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
Immediately notify your insurance company. They will hire a lawyer for you and pay any settlement or judgment up to the limits of the policy. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 9/23/2013
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
There is a 3 year statute of limitations. File a motion with the court asking that the case be dismissed on the grounds that the statute of limitations has run.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 9/23/2013
Candiano Law Office
Candiano Law Office | Charles J. Candiano
1. The Statute of Limitations ran in 2007 2. Send the papers to whomever insured you at the time - It's no big deal - the suit will be thrown out anyway.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 9/23/2013
End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
The Wisconsin statute of limitations for cases like yours is three years. The lady who filed the case is well beyond the three-year time limit for filing a case. You will have to hire a lawyer to file the motion to dismiss the case because it was not filed in time. Because the case is frivolous for being filed too late, the lawyer might be able to ask the judge to assess actual costs against the lady who filed the case. You will have to hire a lawyer right away. As the summons states, you have 45 days to file an official answer to the complaint. In your case, the filing will ask for dismissal of the case because of its late filing.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 9/23/2013
David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
If you had insurance at the time, turn it in on the insurance that you had at the time. They will hire a lawyer to defend you. If you did not have insurance and cannot afford a lawyer, you will be at a big disadvantage. You must file an answer to the lawsuit. You can hand write an answer if you would like. Simply write or type at the top.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 9/23/2013
    Hobbs Law Group
    Hobbs Law Group | Kristin E. Hobbs
    In California there is a two year statute of limitations to sue for injuries. This means the driver must have filed her lawsuit by 9/15/2007. It is far too late for her to file it (unless there are some unusual circumstances like you've been out of the country or in prison, etc.). You will need to file a "demurrer" within the 30 days stating she is passed the statute of limitations because it has been more than 2 years. Call the self help center at the courthouse it was filed in for some help and look for examples on line. Before you file the demurrer, call the courtroom the case was assigned to and ask them for a hearing date for the demurrer. Include this date on the demurrer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/23/2013
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    If you had auto insurance, turn the papers over to that company, even if you do not still have that company. If not, I think you need a lawyer to file a motion to dismiss because probably the statute of Limitations has run.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/23/2013
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    If you had insurance at the time of the accident, contact your carrier at that time and they will defend you. Otherwise, you need to file a demurrer stating that the complaint is barred by the Statute of Limitations suit for property damages must be filed within 4 years of the date of the incident and two years for bodily injuries. If you read the summons carefully you will see that it requires you to file a responsive pleading and not appear in court. You can go to the local law library and look up the form for filing a demurrer [you can not use the court's general denial form].
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/23/2013
    Law Offices of Tanya Gendelman, P.C.
    Law Offices of Tanya Gendelman, P.C. | Tanya Gendelman, Esq.
    Contact your auto insurance company, they should provide legal representation at no cost to you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/23/2013
    Beaver Holt Sternlicht and Courie, P.A.
    Beaver Holt Sternlicht and Courie, P.A. | Mark A. Sternlicht
    You should immediately notify the insurance company that you had at the time of the collision. The company should provide an attorney for you and, if you are found liable, pay the other party up to the limits of your coverage.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 9/23/2013
    David P. Slater, esq.
    David P. Slater, esq. | David P. Slater
    You cannot afford not to have a lawyer, if you screw up and lose. Did you have insurance?
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/23/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Check the statute of limitations, it likely has passed. If all else fails, you can file for bankruptcy to discharge the judgement.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/23/2013
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Believe there is s statute of limitations problem.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/23/2013
    John Russo | John Russo
    You will not get the help you need on these sites, not being smug but this is not an online law school, we try to give simple direction to people or tell them if they need an attorney or not, but we can't give legal advice. What I suggest that you do is this; ASAP, check your jurisdictions statutory law on the statute of limitations on personal injury and property damage claims, in every jurisdiction I am aware of the statute is 3 years from the date of the injury, i.e. accident. I know of one (1) State that I believe the statute is 2 years, but 8 years that is absurd. Maybe what they are doing is hoping that you will not answer or appear in court, and they may be afforded a default judgement thats all I can think of off the top of my head. You need to at least appear on the court date, you should also answer the complaint they filed, as well as object to it , but at the very least appear on that date. Between then and now find out what your States statute is on time limit to file an action, if it is 3 years at least make an oral request of the court on the hearing date to dismiss the case, with prejudice, based on the time frame involved, if there is something else going on here at least you can ask for a 60 day continuance to find an attorney, because if the case is not dismissed, then your facts are off, and the complaint is for something else, because again I have never heard of, never mind seen, a case older then 3 years allowed to go forward, unless there was a fraud allegation that was proven.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 9/23/2013
    Padove Law | Burton A. Padove
    Contact your insurer at the time.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 9/23/2013
    Gregory M Janks, PC
    Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
    If you were on the job, turn the suit papers into your employer. If you were not on the job, but your truck was insured @ the time, turn the papers over to your truck insurance company. It is the responsibility or your employer if you were on the job, or your insurer if not, to defend you by hiring a lawyer for you @ no cost to you. If you were uninsured, then you would be best served to consult a local lawyer, who you will have to pay, to defend you. In Michigan a case can not be legally brought 7 years after an incident (with a few exceptions) so a lawyer should focus on whether the claim is subject to dismissal on a properly filed motion.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/23/2013
    Belushin Law Firm, P.C.
    Belushin Law Firm, P.C. | Vel Belushin
    It sounds like the statute if limitations might have run out before she filed. Check this with a local attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/23/2013
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    First, if you had insurance on the day of the accident (as required by law), turn this over to that insurance company and let them deal with it. Second, this is a California site, so if this accident happened in Ca the case is barred by the statute of limitations (3 years). Third, ?appear? doesn?t mean physically go to court; it means file the appropriate answer or response. Fourth, if no liability insurance, see a lawyer ASAP in order to file the response. Try to find a law firm that does work for insurance companies.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2013
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