Filing A Lawsuit
Why Would I File a Lawsuit?
If you are in a legal dispute with a person or an organization and they are not complying with the right course of action, it may be time to consider filing suit against the other party. In other words, filing a lawsuit is presenting a legal order to compel someone to compensate you for damages rendered. These damages can be physical, mental, emotional, financial, etc. This page explains lawsuits more in-depth and provides an overview of how to proceed.
Do I Need an Attorney for Filing a Lawsuit?
Having an attorney is not required for filing a lawsuit, however, it is highly recommended that you hire one. Filing a lawsuit can be complex for those not familiar with the laws of their state. An attorney may also have experience with lawsuits and can guide you through the steps toward a winning outcome. Note that hiring an attorney does not guarantee that you will win your case, however, it does give you better odds.
Finding the Right Kind of Attorney
“Lawsuit” is a broad term that encompasses a slew of different niches. It is important to consult the services of an attorney versed in the legal area your case falls under when pursuing a court order. For example, if you suffered an injury at work and seek worker’s compensation from an uncooperative employer, you should hire an attorney specializing in workplace issues. Each legal area brings its own nuances, and certain attorneys are better equipped to deal with certain parties in terms of lawsuits. Are you looking for an experienced attorney to help your claim? Get connected with a lawyer near you today. Fill out the simple form below or call to get started.
Some common types of lawsuit attorneys you can find are:
- Lawsuits against insurance companies – If you need to sue your insurance company for breach of contract or bad faith actions, you can hire an attorney used to dealing with insurers and their specific counsel.
- Wrongful death lawsuits – If someone you know died at the hands of someone else’s negligence, a wrongful death lawsuit attorney can help you receive compensation.
- Personal injury lawsuits – Personal injury attorneys can help you navigate lawsuits stemming from injuries related to auto accidents, assault and more.
- General practice attorneys – If you are uncertain which type of lawsuit you have or need to file, a general practice attorney can help you or lead you in the right direction.
Take your time when deciding on the right attorney. Give thought to how well you believe your candidates can protect your rights and deliver the results you desire.
Meeting With Your Lawsuit Attorney
Once you find the right attorney to help with your lawsuit, it is time for your consultation. Initial consultations are typically free. However, legal advocates can charge a small fee for the firm’s time as well. When meeting with your potential attorney, you should prepare for the following:
- Bring any documents relevant to your claim, including any written communications between both parties that pertain to the case.
- Discuss any fees and services that your case may require.
- Talk about how long the lawsuit may take and what to expect going forward.
- Share all information related to the case to your attorney. It is important that you are truthful so that your attorney can properly assess the full scope of your lawsuit.
Filing a Lawsuit as a Last Resort
Usually, it is in your best interest to seek out some type of settlement arrangement before filing a lawsuit. Lawsuits can be lengthy and can possibly turn ugly depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. You can reach out to the other party and see if you can settle outside of court. However, if the other party’s settlement offer is well below what you believe is fair, a lawsuit may be necessary to move the needle toward your favor.
Should I File a Lawsuit?
While filing a lawsuit may seem like the best move at the time, we recommend that you take some thought to consider the full weight of the decision. You need to take an objective look at whether you have a solid case. Can you prove your claim? Do you have evidence to back it up? You need to answer these questions with confidence.
Another question to ask is how you feel about accepting a settlement or taking the case to mediation. If you know that you would be content accepting a settlement, then you can avoid going to trial with a lawsuit. Sometimes, the best course of action is to sit down with the other side to see you all can work together to achieve a resolution. Mediation is another popular alternative to handling claims before they become lawsuits. Mediation involves having a third party hear both sides and make a determination. This takes place outside of a courthouse.
The final question to address with a lawsuit is whether financial judgment is a possibility. Lawsuit attorneys can help determine whether the other opportunity is capable of providing sound financial judgment. It would be a waste of time to pursue a judgment against a party that does not have the financial means to provide payment.
Structure of A Lawsuit
The first document in a lawsuit is typically the Complaint. This document provides a detailed overview of the case against the defendant and lays out all the named parties and determines the proper jurisdiction and facts of the claim. The Complaint also details what type of compensation the plaintiff seeks from the defendant.
After filing the Complaint, a Summons issue is the next matter to deal with. This order will notify the party they are being sued. A legal process server is typically tasked with delivering the Summons in person to the party being sued. Failure to comply with a Summons (if it is successfully delivered) after a predetermined amount of time results in the defendant being placed in default.
The defendant has a right to respond to the Complaint set forth. In this formal response to the Complaint, the defendant addresses each point forwarded by the plaintiff. This document either admits fault in response to the claim or denies any liability.
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