Litigation Lawyers in Smithfield
Residents of Smithfield, Virginia who suffer legal wrongs are typically legally entitled to compensation for harm they incurred as a result. This compensation is typically obtained by filing a lawsuit.
If you wish to file a lawsuit, there are various things you need to consider, and the decision to sue someone should not be made without the counsel of a Smithfield, Virginia civil litigation attorney.
Once you contact a Smithfield, Virginia 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 Smithfield, Virginia
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Smithfield, Virginia court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Smithfield, Virginia can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how likely it is to succeed.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Smithfield, Virginia court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is typically 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 typically gives the plaintiff a chance to re-submit the complaint, with the errors corrected.
Serving the Defendant: When you have decided that you want to file a lawsuit in Smithfield, Virginia, and have drafted the complaint, your next major 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 basic 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 first 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 Smithfield, Virginia. The defendant will probably 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 example, 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 Smithfield, Virginia Tort Lawyer Help?
Filing a lawsuit in a Smithfield, Virginia court is a bit more intricate than the basic outline laid out above.
Therefore, it is crucial that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Smithfield, Virginia.