What is Service in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

The Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Wieand Law Firm represent people who have suffered catastrophic injuries because of another person’s neglect. If you were injured due to medical malpractice, a car accident, or by a defective product we can help.

In this article, the Wieand Law Firm discusses what it means to serve a Complaint. By way of background, some personal injury cases are able to be settled with the negligent person’s insurance company before filing a lawsuit. However, more and more frequently, insurance companies have decided to deny even the most meritorious claims in an effort to deter others from making a claim. When an insurance company won’t negotiation to settle your claim in good faith, your attorney will need to file a lawsuit.

Filing a lawsuit is only the first step of the litigation process. Before the case can officially begin, the Complaint must be served on the defendant.

Service of the complaint is the legal process of delivering the Complaint to a defendant. This must be done in a fashion permitted by the rules of civil procedure, as well as the local rules in your county.

Service may be effectuated differently depending on who is being served. For instance, in some cases, businesses can be served by delivering a copy of the Complaint via certified mail. For individuals, the complaint may be required to be served by an adult over 18 years of age, or in some counties, a sheriff. In instances when a person cannot be found despite a good faith attempt by the Plaintiff, the court may order alternative service. This is often done by placing a legal notice in the newspaper to advise the defendant that a lawsuit has been filed against him or her. Regardless of how service of the Complaint is made, it must be done before the lawsuit can officially begin.

Although service may sound simple, it must be done according to court rules. Failure to follow the rules may result in a judgment against the defendant being opened on a later date for failure to provide provide proper notice of suit. For this reason, it is always wise to consult an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer who can make sure that service is properly effectuated on the defendant.



Thanks to our friends and contributors from Wieand Law Firm, LLC for their insight into personal injury cases.

Disclaimer: The above article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.