Litigation Lawyers in Meadville
If you are a resident of Meadville, 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 many 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 Meadville, Pennsylvania civil litigation attorney first.
Your Meadville, 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 Meadville, Pennsylvania
Consultation with your attorney: Before you continue in any legal action in Meadville, Pennsylvania, you should speak with a knowledgeable local attorney in Meadville, 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 Meadville, 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 typically ask the court to provide specific relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving The Defendant: After you draft your complaint, and file it with the court, you have to let the defendant know that they're being sued. The law of Meadville, Pennsylvania requires that the defendant be given advance notice of the lawsuit as a matter of basic fairness: if you were being sued, you'd want to be given time to find a lawyer and prepare your defense strategy, right? So, with that in mind, the law prefers that defendants be served personally, usually through the use of a paid process server.
Await the Response: The defendant in Meadville, Pennsylvania has an opportunity to respond to the allegations against them. They have various 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 basically operates as a denial). Typically, 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 Meadville, Pennsylvania Tort Lawyer Help?
The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the details involved in filing a lawsuit in Meadville, Pennsylvania.
Accordingly, it's always a good idea to speak with a Meadville, Pennsylvania litigation attorney if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against a person or company.