Litigation Lawyers in Berks County
If you are a resident of Berks County, Pennsylvania and believe that somebody has committed a legal wrong against you, and have decided that the effort and expense involved in seeking compensation is worth it, you may consider filing a lawsuit.
If you wish to file a lawsuit, there are many things you need to consider, and the decision to sue someone should not be made without the counsel of a Berks County, Pennsylvania civil litigation attorney.
When you contact a civil litigation lawyer in Berks County, Pennsylvania, 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 Berks County, Pennsylvania
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Berks County, Pennsylvania court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Berks County, Pennsylvania can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how likely it is to succeed.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Berks County, Pennsylvania court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is normally 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 normally gives the plaintiff a chance to re-submit the complaint, with the errors corrected.
Serving The Defendant: Once you have drafted your complaint, you need to serve the defendant with it, and file it with the court. Berks County, Pennsylvania requires that lawsuits be served on defendants in a particular way. This is to ensure that the defendant has a good deal of notice that they're being sued, giving them time to find an attorney, and work on how they're going to defend themselves. It is strongly preferred to serve defendants in person (with a disinterested third party delivering the papers to the defendant). Sometimes, however, the defendant cannot be found, or is trying to avoid service, they can be served by mail with court approval.
Awaiting the Defendant's Response: Once a lawsuit has been filed, and the defendant has been served in Berks County, Pennsylvania, the defendant has time to respond. They normally 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 show that you've suffered losses that warrant the damages you're asking for.
How Can A Berks County, Pennsylvania Tort Lawyer Help?
This simple outline is meant to give you a general idea of what goes into filing a lawsuit in Berks County, Pennsylvania, but it is by no means a comprehensive guide.
Accordingly, it's always a good idea to speak with a Berks County, Pennsylvania litigation attorney if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against a person or company.