Litigation Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale
If you live in , Florida, and believe that you have suffered some type of legal wrong, you may wish to file a lawsuit against the person who allegedly wronged you.
If you think that filing a lawsuit is a good option in seeking redress, you should not rush into this decision. A lawsuit is a time-consuming and expensive process. You should not make a final decision without speaking to a Fort Lauderdale, Florida attorney.
The Fort Lauderdale, Florida 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 Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Consultation with your attorney: Before you continue in any legal action in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, you should speak with a knowledgeable local attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 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 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the first step to filing a lawsuit, once you've actually decided to do so (in consultation with your attorney), is writing a complaint. A complaint is simply a list of facts that you allege against the defendant. A court must look at these allegations and determine if they add up to a valid cause of action, assuming they're true. If they do not add up to a cause of action, the case may be dismissed. The complaint also typically ask the court to provide specific relief, should it 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. Fort Lauderdale, Florida has particular 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 Defendant's Response: In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the law gives civil defendants a fairly long period of time (a month or two typically) to respond to a lawsuit against them. The most prevalent response is either an answer (where they address the factual allegations against them, typically denying most or all of the allegations) or a motion to dismiss (where the contend that, even if everything alleged in the complaint is true, those facts would not establish liability). If the defendant does nothing, and fails to respond, they run the risk of having a default judgment entered against them. This typically means that the court automatically rules against them, treating the plaintiff as if they won the lawsuit. This gives the plaintiff a judgment against the defendant, which they can seek to collect using all legal means.
How Can A Fort Lauderdale, Florida Tort Lawyer Help?
As you can see, it can be a intricate and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and it is, in fact, much more intricate than the basic outline you just read.
Therefore, it is essential that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.