Litigation Lawyers in Athens
If you are a resident of Athens, Texas 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 think that you may want to file a lawsuit, you should not make this decision easily, 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 Athens, Texas civil litigation attorney.
When you retain a civil litigation lawyer in Athens, Texas, 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 Athens, Texas
Consultation With Your Attorney: Before filing any case in Athens, Texas, you should talk with a local attorney. Your Athens, Texas attorney will be able to advise you on the merits of your lawsuit, and your chances of success.
Drafting the complaint: In Athens, Texas, once you have decided to file a lawsuit, the initial thing you usually have to do is draft a complaint. The complaint is a document that contains all of the allegations you're making against the defendant (the person whom you are suing). It usually must allege all of the facts necessary to constitute a cause of action, though in some systems, very few facts are strictly required to be alleged. It also typically has, at the end, a "prayer" (request) for relief. This final section tells the court what type of relief the plaintiff wants, should the court 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. Athens, Texas 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 Athens, Texas 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 Athens, Texas Tort Lawyer Help?
This simple outline is meant to give you a basic idea of what goes into filing a lawsuit in Athens, Texas, but it is by no means a comprehensive guide.
You should seek the advice of a qualified litigation attorney if you are planning on filing a lawsuit against somebody who you think has wronged you in Athens, Texas.