Filing a Lawsuit in Hayward, California
If you live in
If you think that you may want to file a lawsuit, you should not make this decision lightly, and there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into account. Obviously, you should never go into a lawsuit without at least consulting a knowledgeable Hayward, California civil litigation attorney.
The Hayward, California attorney you end up retaining will be able to advise you on whether you have a good case. If you do, they will also advise you on your best options on how to proceed. Your lawyer can also inform you about what their fees are, and if they have multiple payment options.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Hayward, California
Consultation with your attorney: Before you continue in any legal action in Hayward, California, you should speak with a knowledgeable local attorney in Hayward, California. Your legal counsel can make sure you have the best possible chance of winning your case, and help you decide if you should file your lawsuit in the first place.
Drafting The Complaint: In Hayward, California, the first 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: Once you and your attorney have written a good complaint, and filed it with the court, it needs to be served on the defendant within a specific period of time. This is required under the law of Hayward, California to ensure that the defendant actually knows that he's being sued, and has time to find a lawyer and prepare a defense. Generally, the defendant should be served in person. However, when this isn't possible, service by mail is also acceptable in a few instances.
Await The Response: The defendant has a given amount of time to respond to your lawsuit, once they confirm that they've been served in Hayward, California. 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. Normally, 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 predetermined 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 Hayward, California, but it is by no means a comprehensive guide.
Accordingly, it's always a good idea to speak with a Hayward, California litigation attorney if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against a person or company.