Copyright © 2023 Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduced with Permission.
An initial pleading is the first formal written statement that is filed with a court in a personal injury case.
In order to file this particular lawsuit, Boyk Law Firm attorneys filed the complaint, which gives the story of the lawsuit and names the parties in the case. The attorneys filed the complaint against the three defendants, then filed discovery requests for interrogatories, which are questions under oath, and requests for production of documents from the other parties.
In this case, all of the parties involved were Ohio residents. That includes the two individuals and the insurance company. This fact gave the plaintiff’s team the option of filing the lawsuit in state court. If instead, all of the defendants had been in different states, an option would have been available to file in federal court.
In this case, there were no risks for a counter-suit because all of the evidence indicated that the other party lost control of their vehicle and crossed the center line. The accident happened in their lane of travel on a two-lane roadway.
In response to the documents that attorneys from the Boyk Law Firm filed on behalf of the client, the opposing party filed an answer. The other driver filed a pleading that denied responsibility for the accident as well as a request for interrogatories and a request for the production of documents from the plaintiff. The second defendant, the owner of the vehicle, had a separate attorney and denied the charge of negligence. The insurance company for the underinsured motorist coverage, which was the third defendant in the case, filed an answer indicating that there was coverage under the policy and also filed requests for production of documents and interrogatories.
Under Ohio law, defendants typically have 28 days from the date on which they received a copy of the complaint to respond. A 28-day extension is usually granted for any party. After that extension ends, a continued extension can be allowed either by a motion in the court or by consent of the plaintiff.
After receiving the defense team’s documents, the plaintiff’s team from the Boyk Law Firm answered the requests for the production of documents and the interrogatories for all three parties. Typically, the next step would have been to proceed with the depositions of the defendants. However, this case included pending criminal charges against the driver of the opposing vehicle. As a result, they would have been able to invoke their Fifth Amendment right not to testify.
The plaintiff’s team agreed to take a deposition from the executor of the estate so that he could talk about his relationship with his wife, how the accident happened, and his injuries in the collision.
After answering the defendants’ requests, the Boyk Law Firm filed motions for requests of the production of documents. The defendants did not answer the requests right away, so the plaintiff’s attorneys consented to an initial continuance. The defense complied and sent the requested documents, including certified copies of the insurance policies that were in place. The Boyk Law Firm handed over its own discovery, including documents and videos, and received the defense team’s discovery. Eventually, both sides consented to mediation as a tool to resolve the case.