Litigation Lawyers in Johnstown
If you are a resident of Johnstown, Pennsylvania and believe that somebody has committed a legal wrong against you, and have determined that the effort and expense involved in seeking payment is worth it, you may consider filing a lawsuit.
If you're contemplating filing a lawsuit, there are various 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 Johnstown, Pennsylvania civil litigation attorney first.
Your Johnstown, Pennsylvania civil litigation attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not you have a legitimate case, and, if so, your best avenues 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 Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Consultation with your attorney: Before you proceed with any legal action in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, you should seek the advice and counsel of a seasoned Johnstown, Pennsylvania attorney. He or she will be indispensable in helping you succeed in your lawsuit.
Drafting The Complaint: In Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the initial 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 decide if they add up to a legitimate 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 normally ask the court to provide specific relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
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 particular period of time. This is necessary under the law of Johnstown, Pennsylvania 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.
Await the Response: The defendant in Johnstown, Pennsylvania has an chance to respond to the allegations against them. They have many 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 essentially operates as a denial). Normally, 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 Johnstown, Pennsylvania Tort Lawyer Help?
The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the specifics involved in filing a lawsuit in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
Therefore, it's always a good idea to talk with a Johnstown, Pennsylvania litigation attorney if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against a person or company.