Litigation Lawyers in Longboat Key
If you live in , Florida, 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 filing a lawsuit is a good choice in seeking redress, you should not rush into this decision. A lawsuit is a time-consuming and costly process. You should not make a final decision without talking to a Longboat Key, Florida attorney.
Once you contact a Longboat Key, Florida litigation attorney, he or she will be able to advise you on your chances of succeeding in your lawsuit. Moreover, your lawyer can inform you on what a lawsuit is likely to cost, both in time and money. Obviously, your lawyer has some control over what it will cost you, based on their fees, and whether they bill an hourly rate, or charge on a contingency rate.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Longboat Key, Florida
Consultation With Your Attorney: Before filing any case in Longboat Key, Florida, you should talk with a local attorney. Your Longboat Key, Florida attorney will be able to advise you on the merits of your lawsuit, and your chances of success.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Longboat Key, Florida court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is typically the initial step in actually filing a lawsuit. The complaint is the plaintiff's first opportunity to lay out the allegations against the defendant. If a complaint doesn't allege facts that add up to a legitimate lawsuit (that is, even if everything alleged in the complaint is true, the defendant has still not committed a legal wrong that the court can compensate), the case will have to be dismissed. When a case is dismissed for this reason, the court typically gives the plaintiff a chance to re-submit the complaint, with the errors corrected.
Serving the Defendant: When you have determined that you want to file a lawsuit in Longboat Key, Florida, 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 Longboat Key, Florida, 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.
How Can A Longboat Key, Florida Tort Lawyer Help?
Filing a lawsuit in a Longboat Key, Florida 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 Longboat Key, Florida attorney.