Litigation Lawyers in Smithfield
If you are a resident of Smithfield, Rhode Island 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 Smithfield, Rhode Island civil litigation attorney first.
When you retain a civil litigation lawyer in Smithfield, Rhode Island, 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 Smithfield, Rhode Island
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Smithfield, Rhode Island lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Smithfield, Rhode Island. Your lawyer will have crucial information and advise, helping you decide whether or not your chances of success in the lawsuit make it worth your while to proceed.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Smithfield, Rhode Island court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is usually 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 usually gives the plaintiff a chance to re-submit the complaint, with the errors corrected.
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 certain period of time. This is required under the law of Smithfield, Rhode Island 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.
Awaiting the Defendant's Response: Once a lawsuit has been filed, and the defendant has been served in Smithfield, Rhode Island, the defendant has time to respond. They usually 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 prove that you've suffered losses that warrant the damages you're asking for.
How Can A Smithfield, Rhode Island Tort Lawyer Help?
This article gives you a basic picture of what is required to file a lawsuit in Smithfield, Rhode Island. However, it should not, under any circumstances, be read as a complete guide to the litigation process.
Accordingly, it's always a good idea to speak with a Smithfield, Rhode Island litigation attorney if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against a person or company.