Litigation Lawyers in St. Joseph County
If you live in St. Joseph County, Indiana and think that you might be the victim of a legal wrong, you may determine that it's worth suing over, to recover compensation from the individual who wronged you.
If you wish to file a lawsuit, there are various things you need to consider, and the decision to sue someone should not be made without the counsel of a St. Joseph County, Indiana civil litigation attorney.
When you hire a civil litigation lawyer in St. Joseph County, Indiana, they'll be able to give you some extremely useful advice, especially in devising a strategy that maximizes your chances of winning your lawsuit. You'll probably also wonder how much this lawsuit is going to cost you, especially if you don't win. This largely depends on the attorney's fee structure. If the attorney charges an hourly rate, you will simply have to pay the lawyer for every hour they work. This can add up to a huge amount of money, very rapidly. If they charge on a contingency basis, you do not have to pay any attorney's fees unless you win, and payment comes in the form of the percentage of the judgment. However, if you lose, you might still be responsible for costs, such as court fees, which are incurred no matter what happens to the case.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in St. Joseph County, Indiana
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a St. Joseph County, Indiana lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in St. Joseph County, Indiana. Your lawyer will have essential information and advise, helping you decide whether or not your chances of success in the lawsuit make it worth your while to proceed.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a St. Joseph County, Indiana 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: 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 necessary under the law of St. Joseph County, Indiana 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.
Awaiting the Defendant's Response: Once a lawsuit has been filed, and the defendant has been served in St. Joseph County, Indiana, the defendant has time to respond. They typically 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 establish that you've suffered losses that warrant the damages you're asking for.
How Can A St. Joseph County, Indiana Tort Lawyer Help?
This article gives you a general picture of what is necessary to file a lawsuit in St. Joseph County, Indiana. However, it should not, under any circumstances, be read as a complete guide to the litigation process.
You should seek the advice of a knowledgeable litigation attorney if you are planning on filing a lawsuit against somebody who you think has wronged you in St. Joseph County, Indiana.