Litigation Lawyers in Hillsborough
If you are in Hillsborough, North Carolina and believe that some form of legal wrong has been committed against you, and determine that seeking legal redress will be worth the time and expense involved, you may wish to file a lawsuit.
If you're contemplating filing a lawsuit, there are various things you need to consider, and it is not a decision to be made lightly. You should not file a lawsuit without seeking the advice of a Hillsborough, North Carolina civil litigation attorney first.
Your Hillsborough, North Carolina 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 Hillsborough, North Carolina
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Hillsborough, North Carolina lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Your lawyer will have critical information and advise, helping you decide whether or not your chances of success in the lawsuit make it worth your while to proceed.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Hillsborough, North Carolina 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. Hillsborough, North Carolina 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 Hillsborough, North Carolina, 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 Hillsborough, North Carolina Tort Lawyer Help?
This article gives you a general picture of what is necessary to file a lawsuit in Hillsborough, North Carolina. However, it should not, under any circumstances, be read as a complete guide to the litigation process.
If you have suffered a legal wrong in and decide to sue the person who you believed wronged you, you should talk with a qualified Hillsborough, North Carolina attorney.