Litigation Lawyers in St. Martinville
If you live in St. Martinville, Louisiana 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 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 knowledgeable St. Martinville, Louisiana civil litigation attorney.
When you hire a civil litigation lawyer in St. Martinville, Louisiana, 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. Martinville, Louisiana
Consultation with your attorney: Before you proceed with any legal action in St. Martinville, Louisiana, you should seek the advice and counsel of a reliable St. Martinville, Louisiana attorney. He or she will be indispensable in helping you succeed in your lawsuit.
Drafting The Complaint: In St. Martinville, Louisiana, the initial 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 decide if they add up to a legitimate 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. St. Martinville, Louisiana 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 St. Martinville, Louisiana, 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 St. Martinville, Louisiana Tort Lawyer Help?
This article gives you a general picture of what is necessary to file a lawsuit in St. Martinville, Louisiana. However, it should not, under any circumstances, be read as a complete guide to the litigation process.
Thus, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in St. Martinville, Louisiana, you should not delay to talk with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.