Litigation Lawyers in Raleigh
If you are in Raleigh, 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 several 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 Raleigh, North Carolina civil litigation attorney first.
Your Raleigh, 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 Raleigh, North Carolina
Consultation with your attorney: Before you proceed with any legal action in Raleigh, North Carolina, you should seek the advice and counsel of a reputable Raleigh, North Carolina attorney. He or she will be indispensable in helping you succeed in your lawsuit.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you determine that pursuing a lawsuit in Raleigh, North Carolina 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 procedure, 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 usually asks the court for particular relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
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. Raleigh, North Carolina has specific 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 Raleigh, North Carolina, the defendant has time to respond. The most common response is known as an "answer," in which they particularly address the factual allegations you've made against them, usually 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 certain 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 Raleigh, North Carolina Tort Lawyer Help?
The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the specifics involved in filing a lawsuit in Raleigh, North Carolina.
If you have suffered a legal wrong in and decide to sue the person who you believed wronged you, you should consult with a qualified Raleigh, North Carolina attorney.