Litigation Lawyers in Benton Harbor
If you live in Benton Harbor, Michigan 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 Benton Harbor, Michigan attorney.
When you contact a civil litigation lawyer in Benton Harbor, Michigan, they'll be able to give you some very useful advice, particularly in devising a strategy that maximizes your chances of winning your lawsuit. You'll probably also wonder how much this lawsuit is going to cost you, especially if you don't win. This largely depends on the attorney's fee structure. If the attorney charges an hourly rate, you will simply have to pay the lawyer for every hour they work. This can add up to a huge amount of money, very quickly. If they charge on a contingency basis, you do not have to pay any attorney's fees unless you win, and payment comes in the form of the percentage of the judgment. However, if you lose, you might still be responsible for costs, such as court fees, which are incurred no matter what happens to the case.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Benton Harbor, Michigan
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Benton Harbor, Michigan court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Benton Harbor, Michigan 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 Benton Harbor, Michigan court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is normally 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 normally gives the plaintiff a chance to re-submit the complaint, with the errors corrected.
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. Benton Harbor, Michigan has certain 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 The Response: The defendant has a specific amount of time to respond to your lawsuit, once they confirm that they've been served in Benton Harbor, Michigan. 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. Usually, 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 specific period of time, they are in "default," and basically lose the case automatically.
How Can A Benton Harbor, Michigan Tort Lawyer Help?
This article gives you a basic picture of what is required to file a lawsuit in Benton Harbor, Michigan. However, it should not, under any circumstances, be read as a complete guide to the litigation process.
Therefore, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Benton Harbor, Michigan, you should not hesitate to speak with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.