The plaintiff in a Knoxville car accident case must comply with several important deadlines, if his or her lawsuit against a negligent defendant is to be successful. One of the most important of these deadlines is the statute of limitations – that is, the deadline for filing a claim in a court with appropriate jurisdiction.
However, merely filing a claim is not enough to keep the plaintiff’s case on track for a positive outcome. The plaintiff’s complaint must also be served on the defendant, so that he, she, or it has an opportunity to respond to the plaintiff’s allegations.
Facts of the Case
The plaintiff in a recent appellate court case was a woman whose car was allegedly struck by a vehicle owned by the defendant utility company. The accident happened on March 16, 2009, and the plaintiff’s suit was filed on March 12, 2010. Her suit was in the nature of a civil warrant filed in general sessions court by her then-attorney, who served the complaint on the defendant the next day via certified mail. According to the plaintiff’s then-attorney, he made a return-of-service to the clerk’s office after perfecting service on the defendant. The clerk, however, did not docket the case, and the defendant later claimed that the plaintiff’s then-attorney had failed to make the return-of-service as he alleged.