Litigation Lawyers in Dartmouth
If you live in Dartmouth, Massachusetts and think that you might be the victim of a legal wrong, you may decide that it's worth suing over, to recover compensation from the person who 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 Dartmouth, Massachusetts attorney.
Your Dartmouth, Massachusetts civil litigation attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not you have a legitimate case, and, if so, your best options on how to proceed. The attorney will also discuss with you the fees for their services, and whether he or she can represent you on a contingency basis.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Dartmouth, Massachusetts
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Dartmouth, Massachusetts court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Dartmouth, Massachusetts can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how likely it is to succeed.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Dartmouth, Massachusetts court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is usually the first 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 valid 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 usually gives the plaintiff a chance to re-submit the complaint, with the errors corrected.
Serving the Defendant: When you have decided that you want to file a lawsuit in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, and have drafted the complaint, your next major 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 basic 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 specific ways. The first 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 The Response: The defendant has a certain amount of time to respond to your lawsuit, once they confirm that they've been served in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. The defendant will probably respond with an answer to your complaint. An answer is a document in which the defendant admits or denies the specific factual allegations made by the plaintiff. Typically, the defendant will admit the allegations that are not seriously in dispute (for example, if the lawsuit concerns a car accident, they'll probably admit that an accident did, in fact, take place), but deny the more serious allegations (they'll probably deny that they were responsible for the accident). If the defendant fails to respond within a set period of time, they are in "default," and basically lose the case automatically.
How Can A Dartmouth, Massachusetts Tort Lawyer Help?
As you can see, it can be a complicated and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, and it is, in fact, much more complicated than the basic outline you just read.
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 Dartmouth, Massachusetts attorney.