Litigation Lawyers in Hastings
If you live in Hastings, Michigan 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 are contemplating filing a lawsuit, you should know that there are many factors that need to be considered before doing so. You should definitely retain a seasoned attorney from Hastings, Michigan before you proceed.
Your Hastings, Michigan 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 Hastings, Michigan
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Hastings, Michigan court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Hastings, Michigan can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how possible it is to prevail.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Hastings, Michigan court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is normally the initial 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 legitimate 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. Hastings, 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 Defendant's Response: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in Hastings, Michigan, the defendant has time to respond. The most frequent response is known as an "answer," in which they particularly address the factual allegations you've made against them, normally 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 specific 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 Hastings, Michigan Tort Lawyer Help?
The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the specifics involved in filing a lawsuit in Hastings, Michigan.
Thus, it is essential that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Hastings, Michigan.