Litigation Lawyers in Chatham
If you are in Chatham, New Jersey 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're considering filing a lawsuit, there are many 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 Chatham, New Jersey civil litigation attorney first.
When you hire a civil litigation lawyer in Chatham, New Jersey, 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 Chatham, New Jersey
Consultation with your attorney: Before you proceed with any legal action in Chatham, New Jersey, you should seek the advice and counsel of a knowledgeable Chatham, New Jersey attorney. He or she will be indispensable in helping you succeed in your lawsuit.
Drafting The Complaint: In Chatham, New Jersey, the first step to filing a lawsuit, once you've actually decided to do so (in consultation with your attorney), is writing a complaint. A complaint is simply a list of facts that you allege against the defendant. A court must look at these allegations and determine if they add up to a valid cause of action, assuming they're true. If they do not add up to a cause of action, the case may be dismissed. The complaint also typically ask the court to provide specific relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving the Defendant: When you have decided that you want to file a lawsuit in Chatham, New Jersey, 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 Chatham, New Jersey, 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 Chatham, New Jersey Tort Lawyer Help?
Filing a lawsuit in a Chatham, New Jersey court is a bit more intricate than the basic outline laid out above.
Therefore, it is important that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Chatham, New Jersey.