Filing a Lawsuit in Elizabeth City, North Carolina

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Litigation Lawyers in Elizabeth City

If you are in Elizabeth City, North Carolina and believe that some type of legal wrong has been committed against you, and decide that seeking legal redress will be worth the time and expense involved, you may wish to file a lawsuit.

If you wish to file a lawsuit, there are various things you need to consider, and the decision to sue someone should not be made without the counsel of an Elizabeth City, North Carolina civil litigation attorney.

When you hire a civil litigation lawyer in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, 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 Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Consultation with your attorney: Before you proceed with any legal action in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, you should seek the advice and counsel of a knowledgeable Elizabeth City, North Carolina attorney. He or she will be indispensable in helping you succeed in your lawsuit.

Drafting the complaint: In Elizabeth City, North Carolina, once you have decided to file a lawsuit, the first thing you typically 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 typically 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 normally 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 decided that you want to file a lawsuit in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and have drafted the complaint, your next major 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 basic 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 particular ways. The first 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 Elizabeth City, North Carolina, the law gives civil defendants a fairly long period of time (a month or two typically) to respond to a lawsuit against them. The most prevalent response is either an answer (where they address the factual allegations against them, typically 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 typically 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 Elizabeth City, North Carolina Tort Lawyer Help?

The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the details involved in filing a lawsuit in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

Therefore, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, you should not hesitate to speak with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.

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Life in Elizabeth City

Elizabeth City, North Carolina is a city in Camden County. It has a population of about 21,000 people, as of a 2009 Census estimate.

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