Litigation Lawyers in Cortland
If you are in Cortland, New York 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 Cortland, New York attorney.
When you retain a civil litigation lawyer in Cortland, New York, 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 Cortland, New York
Consultation With Your Attorney: Before filing any lawsuit in Cortland, New York, you should speak with a local attorney. Your Cortland, New York attorney will be able to advise you on the merits of your lawsuit, and your chances of success.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Cortland, New York court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is usually the first 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 valid 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 usually gives the plaintiff a chance to re-submit the complaint, with the errors corrected.
Serving The Defendant: Once you and your attorney have written a good complaint, and filed it with the court, it needs to be served on the defendant within a certain period of time. This is required under the law of Cortland, New York to ensure that the defendant actually knows that he's being sued, and has time to find a lawyer and prepare a defense. Generally, the defendant should be served in person. However, when this isn't possible, service by mail is also acceptable in a few instances.
Awaiting the Defendant's Response: Once a lawsuit has been filed, and the defendant has been served in Cortland, New York, the defendant has time to respond. They usually do so by drafting an answer to the complaint, in which they deny the plaintiff's allegations, or assert a legal defense. If the defendant fails to respond within a set period of time, they will be in default, and you may be able to get a "default judgment" against them, in which all of your allegations against the defendant are treated as if the defendant admitted them, and you only need to prove that you've suffered losses that warrant the damages you're asking for.
How Can A Cortland, New York Tort Lawyer Help?
This simple outline is meant to give you a general idea of what goes into filing a lawsuit in Cortland, New York, but it is by no means a comprehensive guide.
You should seek the advice of a qualified litigation attorney if you are planning on filing a lawsuit against somebody who you think has wronged you in Cortland, New York.