Filing a Lawsuit in Houston, Texas
If you are a resident of Houston, Texas and believe that somebody has committed a legal wrong against you, and have decided that the effort and expense involved in seeking compensation is worth it, you may consider filing a lawsuit.
If you are contemplating filing a lawsuit, you should know that there are many factors that need to be considered before doing so. You should definitely retain a brilliant attorney from Houston, Texas before you proceed.
Your Houston, Texas civil litigation attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not you have a legitimate case, and, if so, your best options on how to proceed. The attorney will also discuss with you the fees for their services, and whether he or she can represent you on a contingency basis.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Houston, Texas
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Houston, Texas lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Houston, Texas. Your lawyer will have crucial 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 Houston, Texas, once you have decided to file a lawsuit, the first thing you normally have to do is draft a complaint. The complaint is a document that contains all of the allegations you're making against the defendant (the person whom you are suing). It normally must allege all of the facts necessary to constitute a cause of action, though in some systems, very few facts are strictly required to be alleged. It also usually has, at the end, a "prayer" (request) for relief. This final section tells the court what type of relief the plaintiff wants, should the court rule in the plaintiff's favor.
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. Houston, Texas has certain 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 specific amount of time to respond to your lawsuit, once they confirm that they've been served in Houston, Texas. The defendant will probably 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. Usually, the defendant will admit the allegations that are not seriously in dispute (for example, 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 specific period of time, they are in "default," and basically lose the case automatically.
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This simple outline is meant to give you a general idea of what goes into filing a lawsuit in Houston, Texas, but it is by no means a comprehensive guide.
Accordingly, it's always a good idea to speak with a Houston, Texas litigation attorney if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against a person or company.
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With a large population of 2.1 million people, it is natural that a large legal industry is needed to suit the needs of so many. With a few law schools in Houston producing many graduates, the mid to small sized law firms adequately handle the citizens' legal needs.