In Louisiana, a personal injury case is initiated by filing a petition for damages. Our Louisiana personal injury attorney Philip B. Adams talked a little bit about petitions for damages in a prior blog post. But what do you do next? After that, you must get the defendant served with the petition. But what does that mean? Basically, the petition must be formally given to the defendant.
If the defendant is an individual, who is to be served in their individual capacity, as opposed to a corporation, they can be served in two ways. They can be served either by:
Each of these ways of service has the same effect unless otherwise provided by law. Personal service is when a proper officer serves the petition, citation, or another process upon the individual that is designated to be served. This can happen anywhere the officer making the service is allowed by law to go and reach the person to be served.
Domiciliary service is when a proper officer leaves the petition, citation, or other process at the person to be served’s home or with a person of suitable age and discretion that lives in a home where a person being served regularly resides.
“Service, whether personal or domiciliary, may be made at any time of day or night, including Sundays and holidays.” Notably, not just anyone can effectuate service, but instead, a proper officer must effectuate service. Pursuant to LA Code Civ Pro Art 1291, typically, service should be made by the sheriff of the parish where service is to be made or of the parish where the action is pending. However, according to LA Code Civ Pro Art 1293, if the sheriff has not made service within ten (10) days of receipt of the process or has certified that they have been unable to make service, a party may request that a private individual make service. The private individual must be over the age of majority, they cannot be a party to the case, and they must reside within the state.
If the court deems the requested individual to be qualified to perform the duties required to make service of process in the same manner as is required of sheriffs, the court has the discretion to appoint them.
Why is Service of Process Important?
Service of process is important because although a Petition for Damages initiates a case, the case cannot truly move forward until the defendant or defendants are served. Thus, getting a defendant served with the petition brings a personal injury case one step closer to resolution and a Plaintiff potentially one step closer to recovery. A seasoned personal injury attorney can help you take that step.
Call A Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney
Let the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams help you serve justice. We are experienced accident injury attorneys in Louisiana that work diligently for our clients, whether handling small tasks like service of process or large tasks like trials. We know the steps in the process to ensure that your case is dealt with promptly and professionally.
If you, a friend, or another loved one need your personal injury case handled expeditiously, please do not hesitate to connect with the Louisiana personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams today! We are Louisiana accident injury attorneys who can help you. You can submit a request for a free consultation on our website through our online submission form.