Filing a Lawsuit in Bucks County, Pennsylvania
If you are a resident of Bucks County, Pennsylvania and believe that somebody has committed a legal wrong against you, and have determined that the effort and expense involved in seeking payment is worth it, you may consider filing a lawsuit.
If you wish to file a lawsuit, there are various things you need to consider, and the decision to sue someone should not be made without the counsel of a Bucks County, Pennsylvania civil litigation attorney.
When you hire a civil litigation lawyer in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, they'll be able to give you some extremely useful advice, especially in devising a strategy that maximizes your chances of winning your lawsuit. You'll probably also wonder how much this lawsuit is going to cost you, especially if you don't win. This largely depends on the attorney's fee structure. If the attorney charges an hourly rate, you will simply have to pay the lawyer for every hour they work. This can add up to a huge amount of money, very rapidly. If they charge on a contingency basis, you do not have to pay any attorney's fees unless you win, and payment comes in the form of the percentage of the judgment. However, if you lose, you might still be responsible for costs, such as court fees, which are incurred no matter what happens to the case.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Bucks County, Pennsylvania lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Your lawyer will have essential information and advise, helping you decide whether or not your chances of success in the lawsuit make it worth your while to proceed.
Drafting The Complaint: In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the initial step in filing a lawsuit is drafting a complaint. The complaint is a document that lays out all of your allegations against the person you're suing. It usually provides necessary background information, details the injuries you suffered, and why the person you're suing is to blame for those injuries. It also usually contains a specific "prayer" (request) for relief - a brief statement telling the court what the plaintiff is asking of it, such as monetary damages, and injunction, or other relief.
Serving the Defendant: When you have determined that you want to file a lawsuit in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and have drafted the complaint, your next important step is to file the complaint with the court, and serve it on the defendant. The defendant must be given at least several weeks' notice that they're being sued, and as much time to review the complaint. This is a matter of general fairness and due process, and allows the defendant to hire a lawyer and get to work on a defense. The law requires that the defendant be served in a few particular ways. The initial choice is to give it to them in person. This has to be done by a person who does not have any direct involvement in the lawsuit. If that isn't possible, the defendant can be served by giving the complaint to another adult member of their household; this is called substituted service.
Await Defendant's Response: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the defendant has time to respond. The most prevalent response is known as an "answer," in which they particularly address the factual allegations you've made against them, typically by denying most of the allegations. They might also move to dismiss the case if they can argue that the complaint is legally flawed. A judge then has to rule on this motion. If the defendant doesn't respond within a given period of time, they are said to have "defaulted." This allows the court to enter a default judgment, in which the plaintiff essentially automatically wins the lawsuit. Once this happens, the defendant, if they're ever located, can be served with the judgment, and will have very little power to challenge the merits of your case.
Find a Bucks County Lawyer that Specializes in Your Area of Need:
How Can A Bucks County, Pennsylvania Tort Lawyer Help?
Filing a lawsuit in a Bucks County, Pennsylvania court is a bit more intricate than the basic outline laid out above.
If you have suffered a legal wrong in and decide to sue the person who you believed wronged you, you should speak with a qualified Bucks County, Pennsylvania attorney.