Litigation Lawyers in Santa Maria
If you live in , California, and believe that you have sustained some form of legal wrong, you may wish to file a lawsuit against the individual who allegedly wronged you.
If you think that you may want to file a lawsuit, you should not make this decision easily, 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 qualified Santa Maria, California civil litigation attorney.
Once you have retained an attorney in Santa Maria, California, he or she will be able to help you devise a strategy on how to proceed, which will hopefully maximize your chances of success in your lawsuit. Your lawyer can also provide you a rough idea of how much the lawsuit is likely to cost, taking into account court fees, expert witness fees, and other costs.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Santa Maria, California
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Santa Maria, California court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Santa Maria, California can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how possible it is to prevail.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you determine that pursuing a lawsuit in Santa Maria, California civil court is worth your time and effort, you need to file a complaint. The complaint can set the tone, and frame the issues, for the rest of the litigation procedure, which can drag on for months, or even years (and decades, in some cases). This is because the complaint lays out all the allegations against the defendant. It also usually asks the court for particular relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving The Defendant: After you draft your complaint, and file it with the court, you have to let the defendant know that they're being sued. The law of Santa Maria, California states that the defendant be given advance notice of the lawsuit as a matter of general fairness: if you were being sued, you'd want to be given time to find a lawyer and prepare your defense strategy, right? So, with that in mind, the law prefers that defendants be served personally, generally through the use of a paid process server.
Awaiting the Defendant's Response: Once a lawsuit has been filed, and the defendant has been served in Santa Maria, California, the defendant has time to respond. They usually do so by drafting an answer to the complaint, in which they deny the plaintiff's allegations, or assert a legal defense. If the defendant fails to respond within a set period of time, they will be in default, and you may be able to get a "default judgment" against them, in which all of your allegations against the defendant are viewed as if the defendant admitted them, and you only need to prove that you've suffered losses that warrant the damages you're asking for.
How Can A Santa Maria, California Tort Lawyer Help?
The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the specifics involved in filing a lawsuit in Santa Maria, California.
If you have suffered a legal wrong in and decide to sue the person who you believed wronged you, you should consult with a qualified Santa Maria, California attorney.