Litigation Lawyers in Luzerne County
If you are a resident of Luzerne 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're considering filing a lawsuit, there are numerous 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 Luzerne County, Pennsylvania civil litigation attorney first.
Your Luzerne County, Pennsylvania 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 Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
Consultation with your attorney: Before you continue in any legal action in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, you should speak with a good local attorney in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Your legal counsel can make sure you have the best possible chance of winning your case, and help you decide if you should file your lawsuit in the first place.
Drafting The Complaint: In Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, the first 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 determine if they add up to a valid 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 usually ask the court to provide specific relief, should it 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. Luzerne County, Pennsylvania 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 Defendant's Response: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, the defendant has time to respond. The most common response is known as an "answer," in which they specifically address the factual allegations you've made against them, usually by denying most of the allegations. They might also move to dismiss the case if they can argue that the complaint is legally flawed. A judge then has to rule on this motion. If the defendant doesn't respond within a certain period of time, they are said to have "defaulted." This allows the court to enter a default judgment, in which the plaintiff essentially automatically wins the lawsuit. Once this happens, the defendant, if they're ever located, can be served with the judgment, and will have very little power to challenge the merits of your case.
How Can A Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Tort Lawyer Help?
The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the details involved in filing a lawsuit in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
Therefore, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, you should not hesitate to speak with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.