Litigation Lawyers in Westfield
If you live in Westfield, Massachusetts 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 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 Westfield, Massachusetts attorney.
Your Westfield, Massachusetts civil litigation attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not you have a legitimate case, and, if so, your best avenues 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 Westfield, Massachusetts
Consultation with your attorney: Before you continue in any legal action in Westfield, Massachusetts, you should speak with a reliable local attorney in Westfield, 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 Westfield, Massachusetts, 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: After you draft your complaint, and file it with the court, you have to let the defendant know that they're being sued. The law of Westfield, Massachusetts states that the defendant be given advance notice of the lawsuit as a matter of general fairness: if you were being sued, you'd want to be given time to find a lawyer and prepare your defense strategy, right? So, with that in mind, the law prefers that defendants be served personally, usually through the use of a paid process server.
Await Defendant's Response: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in Westfield, Massachusetts, 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 Westfield, Massachusetts Tort Lawyer Help?
This article gives you a general picture of what is necessary to file a lawsuit in Westfield, Massachusetts. However, it should not, under any circumstances, be read as a complete guide to the litigation process.
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 Westfield, Massachusetts attorney.