Litigation Lawyers in Surfside Beach
If you are a resident of Surfside Beach, South Carolina 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 think that you may want to file a lawsuit, you should not make this decision lightly, and there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into account. Obviously, you should never go into a lawsuit without at least consulting a qualified Surfside Beach, South Carolina civil litigation attorney.
Your Surfside Beach, South Carolina 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 Surfside Beach, South Carolina
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Surfside Beach, South Carolina court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Surfside Beach, South Carolina can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how likely it is to succeed.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you decide that pursuing a lawsuit in Surfside Beach, South Carolina civil court is worth your time and effort, you need to file a complaint. The complaint can set the tone, and frame the issues, for the rest of the litigation process, which can drag on for months, or even years (and decades, in some cases). This is because the complaint lays out all the allegations against the defendant. It also usually asks the court for specific relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving The Defendant: Once you have drafted your complaint, you need to serve the defendant with it, and file it with the court. Surfside Beach, 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 strongly preferred to serve defendants in person (with a disinterested third party delivering the papers to the defendant). Sometimes, however, the defendant cannot be found, or is trying to avoid service, they can be served by mail with court approval.
Await Defendant's Response: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, 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 Surfside Beach, South Carolina Tort Lawyer Help?
Filing a lawsuit in a Surfside Beach, South Carolina court is a bit more complicated than the basic outline laid out above.
Therefore, it is important that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Surfside Beach, South Carolina.