Litigation Lawyers in New Martinsville
Residents of New Martinsville, West Virginia who suffer legal wrongs are normally legally entitled to compensation for harm they incurred as a result. This compensation is normally obtained by filing a lawsuit.
If you're contemplating filing a lawsuit, there are several 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 New Martinsville, West Virginia civil litigation attorney first.
Once you retain a New Martinsville, West Virginia litigation attorney, he or she will be able to advise you on your chances of succeeding in your lawsuit. Additionally, 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 New Martinsville, West Virginia
Consultation with your attorney: Before you continue in any legal action in New Martinsville, West Virginia, you should speak with a seasoned local attorney in New Martinsville, West Virginia. Your legal counsel can make sure you have the best possible chance of winning your case, and help you decide if you should file your lawsuit in the first place.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a New Martinsville, West Virginia court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is normally the initial 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 legitimate 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 normally gives the plaintiff a chance to re-submit the complaint, with the errors corrected.
Serving The Defendant: Once you have drafted your complaint, you need to serve the defendant with it, and file it with the court. New Martinsville, West Virginia requires that lawsuits be served on defendants in a particular 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 Defendant's Response: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in New Martinsville, West Virginia, the defendant has time to respond. The most frequent response is known as an "answer," in which they particularly address the factual allegations you've made against them, normally 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 specific 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 New Martinsville, West Virginia Tort Lawyer Help?
Filing a lawsuit in a New Martinsville, West Virginia court is a bit more complex than the basic outline laid out above.
Thus, it is imperative that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in New Martinsville, West Virginia.