Litigation Lawyers in Takoma Park
If you live in Takoma Park, Maryland 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 Takoma Park, Maryland attorney.
Once you retain a Takoma Park, 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 Takoma Park, Maryland
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Takoma Park, Maryland court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Takoma Park, Maryland can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how likely it is to succeed.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you decide that pursuing a lawsuit in Takoma Park, Maryland civil court is worth your time and effort, you need to file a complaint. The complaint can set the tone, and frame the issues, for the rest of the litigation process, which can drag on for months, or even years (and decades, in some cases). This is because the complaint lays out all the allegations against the defendant. It also normally asks the court for specific relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving The Defendant: Once you have drafted your complaint, you need to serve the defendant with it, and file it with the court. Takoma Park, Maryland requires that lawsuits be served on defendants in a particular way. This is to ensure that the defendant has a good deal of notice that they're being sued, giving them time to find an attorney, and work on how they're going to defend themselves. It is strongly preferred to serve defendants in person (with a disinterested third party delivering the papers to the defendant). Sometimes, however, the defendant cannot be found, or is trying to avoid service, they can be served by mail with court approval.
Await Defendant's Response: In Takoma Park, 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 Takoma Park, Maryland Tort Lawyer Help?
As you can see, it can be a complex and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Takoma Park, Maryland, and it is, in fact, much more complex than the basic outline you just read.
Therefore, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Takoma Park, Maryland, you should not hesitate to speak with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.