Could Failing to Pay a Filing Fee Cost Me My Civil Claim?

Most people who are involved in accidents typically have questions afterwards about how to seek compensation from the at-fault party. For most people, seeking help from a lawyer is the best option because they can not only explain how to seek compensation but they can help with all of the procedural paperwork as well. In other cases, someone may choose to represent themselves, taking on the responsibilities of a lawyer without the security of their experience.

Whether you choose to file a claim by yourself or choose to get legal representation, California law is clear: you will both be held to the same standard, meaning you will both be required to know and understand the codes and rules that govern the civil court system. One set of rules you will be required to know are those concerning filing fees for civil court cases. In response to our question above, it’s possible that failing to pay these fees can create legal headaches down the road.

For many civil cases, including personal injury claims, the state requires the petitioner to pay filing fees. The largest of these fees is the “first appearance” fee, explains the California Courts’ website. A fee waiver can be obtained by low income petitioners who cannot afford to pay these fees. Failure to pay a fee without a waiver, however, could jeopardize your case.

Whether you were involved in car accident or were struck while riding your bicycle, getting compensation for your injuries from the negligent party is ultimately your first priority. If representing yourself could cause you to potentially misinterpret or fail to follow the law, then obtaining a lawyer is by far the better answer and is an avenue worth considering among our readers.