Litigation Lawyers in Charleston County
If you are a resident of Charleston County, South Carolina 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 Charleston County, South Carolina civil litigation attorney first.
When you retain a civil litigation lawyer in Charleston County, South Carolina, they'll be able to give you some extremely useful advice, especially 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 rapidly. 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 Charleston County, South Carolina
Consultation with your attorney: Before you proceed with any legal action in Charleston County, South Carolina, you should seek the advice and counsel of a reputable Charleston County, South Carolina attorney. He or she will be indispensable in helping you succeed in your lawsuit.
Drafting The Complaint: In Charleston County, South Carolina, the initial step in filing a lawsuit is drafting a complaint. The complaint is a document that lays out all of your allegations against the person you're suing. It generally provides necessary background information, details the injuries you suffered, and why the person you're suing is to blame for those injuries. It also usually contains a specific "prayer" (request) for relief - a brief statement telling the court what the plaintiff is asking of it, such as monetary damages, and injunction, or other relief.
Serving The Defendant: Once you have drafted your complaint, you need to serve the defendant with it, and file it with the court. Charleston County, South Carolina requires that lawsuits be served on defendants in a certain way. This is to ensure that the defendant has a good deal of notice that they're being sued, giving them time to find an attorney, and work on how they're going to defend themselves. It is highly preferred to serve defendants in person (with a disinterested third party delivering the papers to the defendant). Occasionally, however, the defendant cannot be found, or is trying to avoid service, they can be served by mail with court approval.
Await the Response: The defendant in Charleston County, South Carolina has an chance to respond to the allegations against them. They have several 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). Usually, 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 Charleston County, South Carolina Tort Lawyer Help?
Filing a lawsuit in a Charleston County, South Carolina court is a bit more complicated than the basic outline laid out above.
If you have suffered a legal wrong in and decide to sue the person who you believed wronged you, you should consult with a qualified Charleston County, South Carolina attorney.