Litigation Lawyers in Northampton
If you are a resident of Northampton, 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 Northampton, Pennsylvania civil litigation attorney first.
Once you contact a Northampton, Pennsylvania litigation attorney, he or she will be able to advise you on your chances of succeeding in your lawsuit. Moreover, your lawyer can inform you on what a lawsuit is likely to cost, both in time and money. Obviously, your lawyer has some control over what it will cost you, based on their fees, and whether they bill an hourly rate, or charge on a contingency rate.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Northampton, Pennsylvania
Consultation With Your Attorney: Before filing any case in Northampton, Pennsylvania, you should talk with a local attorney. Your Northampton, Pennsylvania attorney will be able to advise you on the merits of your lawsuit, and your chances of success.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Northampton, Pennsylvania court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is typically the initial 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 legitimate 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 typically gives the plaintiff a chance to re-submit the complaint, with the errors corrected.
Serving the Defendant: When you have determined that you want to file a lawsuit in Northampton, Pennsylvania, 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 particular 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 given amount of time to respond to your lawsuit, once they confirm that they've been served in Northampton, Pennsylvania. 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. Normally, 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 predetermined period of time, they are in "default," and basically lose the case automatically.
How Can A Northampton, Pennsylvania Tort Lawyer Help?
Filing a lawsuit in a Northampton, Pennsylvania court is a bit more intricate 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 Northampton, Pennsylvania.