Litigation Lawyers in Maplewood
If you are in Maplewood, 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 think that filing a lawsuit is a good option in seeking redress, you should not rush into this decision. A lawsuit is a time-consuming and expensive process. You should not make a final decision without speaking to a Maplewood, New Jersey attorney.
Your Maplewood, New Jersey civil litigation attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not you have a legitimate case, and, if so, your best options 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 Maplewood, New Jersey
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Maplewood, New Jersey lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Maplewood, New Jersey. Your lawyer will have crucial information and advise, helping you decide whether or not your chances of success in the lawsuit make it worth your while to proceed.
Drafting the complaint: In Maplewood, New Jersey, once you have decided to file a lawsuit, the first thing you usually 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 usually 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 typically 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: 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. Maplewood, New Jersey 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 the Response: The defendant in Maplewood, New Jersey has an opportunity to respond to the allegations against them. They have several options in how they respond to a lawsuit. They can move to dismiss the case (arguing that, even if everything the complaint alleges is true, they would still not be liable for anything), or they can file with the court, and serve upon the plaintiff an answer. An answer is a point-by-point disposal of every allegation against the defendant. The defendant can admit the allegations, deny them, or claim that they do not have enough information to admit or deny them (which basically operates as a denial). Usually, the defendant will admit the inconsequential allegations, so they don't have to be litigated (if the lawsuit is about a car accident involving the plaintiff and defendant, they'll probably go ahead and admit that the accident took place), but deny any allegation that could establish liability, if true (they'll deny responsibility for the car accident, for example). If the defendant does not respond by the deadline, they will have a default judgment entered against them, and automatically lose the case.
How Can A Maplewood, New Jersey Tort Lawyer Help?
As you can see, it can be a complicated and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Maplewood, New Jersey, and it is, in fact, much more complicated than the basic outline you just read.
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 Maplewood, New Jersey attorney.