A Maryland Personal Injury Lawsuit starts with three simple words: You’ve Been Served!
Service of process.
That’s what happens after you initiate a car accident lawsuit by filing a complaint. You must serve the at-fault driver and any other interested parties with your personal injury lawsuit.
What is service of process?
To eventually be able to collect money from the negligent driver in an auto accident case, the at-fault driver must be made aware of the lawsuit so they can put on a defense.
Thus, the courts require that the injured party serve the defendant with the lawsuit.
What does it mean to serve process?
Service of process means handing the at-fault driver:
- A summons with a court date;
- Copy of the complaint; and
- Any supporting documents.
Are there any time limitations or restrictions for service of process?
Yes. You have 30 days in the Maryland District Courts and 60 days in the Maryland Circuit Courts to serve the defendant. If the time period runs out, then the plaintiff can ask the court to re-issue the summons until the defendant is served.
Additionally, there are restrictions on who and where a defendant may be served.
Who handles service of process?
Service of process is conducted by a private process server, a sheriff, or by certified mail.
What is alternative service of process?
If a defendant cannot be served, then a plaintiff can move for alternative service. Typically, it means serving process on a defendant’s insurance company.
So what does all this mean for you?
For injured plaintiffs, this means that even though you’re ready to go forward with your personal injury case, you have to wait until the at-fault defendant is served!
Schedule a free Carroll County Auto Accident Attorney consultation
If you or a family member has been injured because of someone else’s careless or negligent acts, then call the Law Office of Ross W. Albers to schedule a free Carroll County Personal Injury Lawyer consultation. Carroll County Auto Accident Attorney Ross W. Albers is a former Maryland insurance adjuster that knows what you’re up against.
If your car collision injury prevents you from coming to our office in Westminster, Maryland, then we will come to you! Evening and weekend appointments are available, too.