Litigation Lawyers in Columbia
If you live in Columbia, Maryland 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 Columbia, Maryland attorney.
Once you retain a Columbia, Maryland litigation attorney, he or she will be able to advise you on your chances of succeeding in your lawsuit. Additionally, your lawyer can inform you on what a lawsuit is likely to cost, both in time and money. Obviously, your lawyer has some control over what it will cost you, based on their fees, and whether they bill an hourly rate, or charge on a contingency rate.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Columbia, Maryland
Consultation With Your Attorney: Before filing any case in Columbia, Maryland, you should talk with a local attorney. Your Columbia, Maryland attorney will be able to advise you on the merits of your lawsuit, and your chances of success.
Drafting the complaint: In Columbia, Maryland, once you have decided to file a lawsuit, the initial thing you normally have to do is draft a complaint. The complaint is a document that contains all of the allegations you're making against the defendant (the person whom you are suing). It normally must allege all of the facts necessary to constitute a cause of action, though in some systems, very few facts are strictly required to be alleged. It also usually has, at the end, a "prayer" (request) for relief. This final section tells the court what type of relief the plaintiff wants, should the court rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving the Defendant: When you have determined that you want to file a lawsuit in Columbia, Maryland, and have drafted the complaint, your next important 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 general 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 certain ways. The initial 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 Defendant's Response: In Columbia, Maryland, the law gives civil defendants a fairly long period of time (a month or two normally) to respond to a lawsuit against them. The most frequent response is either an answer (where they address the factual allegations against them, normally 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 normally 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 Columbia, Maryland Tort Lawyer Help?
The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the specifics involved in filing a lawsuit in Columbia, Maryland.
Thus, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Columbia, Maryland, you should not delay to talk with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.