Litigation Lawyers in Topsfield
If you live in Topsfield, 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 Topsfield, Massachusetts attorney.
Your Topsfield, 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 Topsfield, Massachusetts
Consultation with your attorney: Before you continue in any legal action in Topsfield, Massachusetts, you should speak with a good local attorney in Topsfield, Massachusetts. 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 Topsfield, Massachusetts, 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 usually 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. Topsfield, Massachusetts has specific 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 Topsfield, Massachusetts, the law gives civil defendants a fairly long period of time (a month or two usually) to respond to a lawsuit against them. The most common response is either an answer (where they address the factual allegations against them, usually 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 usually 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 Topsfield, Massachusetts Tort Lawyer Help?
The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the details involved in filing a lawsuit in Topsfield, Massachusetts.
Accordingly, it's always a good idea to speak with a Topsfield, Massachusetts litigation attorney if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against a person or company.