Litigation Lawyers in Ithaca
If you are in Ithaca, New York 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 think that filing a lawsuit is a good choice in seeking redress, you should not rush into this decision. A lawsuit is a time-consuming and costly process. You should not make a final decision without talking to an Ithaca, New York attorney.
When you retain a civil litigation lawyer in Ithaca, New York, they'll be able to give you some extremely useful advice, especially 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 rapidly. 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 Ithaca, New York
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with an Ithaca, New York lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Ithaca, New York. Your lawyer will have essential 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 Ithaca, New York, once you have decided to file a lawsuit, the initial 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: When you have determined that you want to file a lawsuit in Ithaca, New York, and have drafted the complaint, your next important 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 general 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 specific ways. The initial 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 The Response: The defendant has a certain amount of time to respond to your lawsuit, once they confirm that they've been served in Ithaca, New York. The defendant will likely respond with an answer to your complaint. An answer is a document in which the defendant admits or denies the specific factual allegations made by the plaintiff. Typically, the defendant will admit the allegations that are not seriously in dispute (for instance, if the lawsuit concerns a car accident, they'll probably admit that an accident did, in fact, take place), but deny the more serious allegations (they'll probably deny that they were responsible for the accident). If the defendant fails to respond within a set period of time, they are in "default," and basically lose the case automatically.
How Can A Ithaca, New York Tort Lawyer Help?
Filing a lawsuit in an Ithaca, New York court is a bit more complicated than the basic outline laid out above.
Thus, it is essential that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Ithaca, New York.