My question involves court procedures for the state of: AZ
I was injured with what I believe was a defective product. The injury took 2 months to heal and it was super painful in the meantime. Initially I filed a claim with the store's general liability insurance. When I say store, I mean a big box store - it's a huge corporation. I was looking for about $700 to cover my medical bills and missed time off work, although to be honest I would have probably settled for whatever amount the adjuster offered because I wasn't really keen on going to court.
The store's insurance did an investigation, collected my statement, etc and then denied the claim. They told me to go after the supplier which is a company in China. I contacted the supplier's insurance company (which was difficult because they are not US based) and they denied my claim because they said it's not their product. I went back to the store looking for more info on how they determined the supplier was correct. The store basically told me to get lost. They said they wouldn't help me build my case against the supplier and that any information they have on the supplier is confidential information and none of my business.
So... I went ahead and filed a small claims case. I thought maybe they would be open to a settlement once they saw that I wasn't just going to quietly fade away, but if not I could certainly go in front of a small claims judge and make my case. I know there are no attorneys in small claims so I figured it would be an even playing field. The response came from a big law firm. Apparently, AZ has a nice little law where any party in small claims can request to be moved to big boys court. The law firm requested change of venue and trial by jury. Gulp.
It's clear that I'm outnumbered and outlawyered but I still would like to proceed with getting my day in court. Because this is a $700 case I obviously wouldn't hire an attorney, so I have to represent myself. My question is in regards to what happens if I lose. Do I get stuck paying their attorney's fees and court costs? I don't think that would be right since they are the ones who wanted to get their attorney involved and change to civil court but I would like to understand my worst case scenario.
Thanks for reading.