Filing a Lawsuit in Orlando, Florida
If you live in
If you think that filing a lawsuit is a good choice in seeking redress, you should not rush into this decision. A lawsuit is a time-consuming and costly process. You should not make a final decision without talking to a Orlando, Florida attorney.
Once you hire a Orlando, Florida litigation attorney, he or she will be able to advise you on your chances of succeeding in your lawsuit. Furthermore, your lawyer can inform you on what a lawsuit is likely to cost, both in time and money. Obviously, your lawyer has some control over what it will cost you, based on their fees, and whether they bill an hourly rate, or charge on a contingency rate.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Orlando, Florida
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Orlando, Florida court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Orlando, Florida can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how possible it is to prevail.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Orlando, Florida court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is usually the initial step in actually filing a lawsuit. The complaint is the plaintiff's first opportunity to lay out the allegations against the defendant. If a complaint doesn't allege facts that add up to a legitimate lawsuit (that is, even if everything alleged in the complaint is true, the defendant has still not committed a legal wrong that the court can compensate), the case will have to be dismissed. When a case is dismissed for this reason, the court usually gives the plaintiff a chance to re-submit the complaint, with the errors corrected.
Serving The Defendant: Once you, or your lawyer, have drafted a complaint, the defendant must be served with it, so they have notice that they're being sued, and are given time to prepare a defense. Orlando, Florida has specific rules governing how a complaint must be served, for the service to be valid. Personal service (having someone give the documents directly to the defendant) is preferred. However, some courts will also accept service by mail in limited circumstances, or service upon an adult member of the defendant's household.
Await The Response: The defendant has a certain amount of time to respond to your lawsuit, once they confirm that they've been served in Orlando, Florida. The defendant will likely respond with an answer to your complaint. An answer is a document in which the defendant admits or denies the specific factual allegations made by the plaintiff. Typically, the defendant will admit the allegations that are not seriously in dispute (for instance, if the lawsuit concerns a car accident, they'll probably admit that an accident did, in fact, take place), but deny the more serious allegations (they'll probably deny that they were responsible for the accident). If the defendant fails to respond within a set period of time, they are in "default," and basically lose the case automatically.
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This article gives you a general picture of what is necessary to file a lawsuit in Orlando, Florida. However, it should not, under any circumstances, be read as a complete guide to the litigation process.
Therefore, it's always a good idea to talk with a Orlando, Florida litigation attorney if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against a person or company.