You might not think that there are many reasons why someone would need to file a legal claim, but the truth is that it can be for anything. Whether you’re looking to get some money back or protect your rights in another way, filing a legal claim can help. Here are six things you should know before doing so.
Hiring a Lawyer
A legal professional can help with important details when filing the complaint, such as correctly filling out the necessary paperwork and filing your claim with the proper council. If you decide not to hire a lawyer, this can be done by yourself or through legal aid. For example, when hiring a personal injury law firm, you should find one that is right for your needs, which means looking at price and looking for a large amount of experience. Also, it’s important to be aware that some personal injury companies and lawyers require a certain percentage (usually 25%) of your settlement or award after they settle. This is known as a contingent fee.
Evidence and Forms
It’s important to have evidence that supports your claim before you file because it will help prove your case, particularly if there is any confusion or disagreement about what occurred. Make sure you know the specific details of the complaint and all supporting documents, such as contracts and invoices. You should be prepared to take your evidence and forms (complaint, summons, waiver) to the court’s filing clerk.
On the other hand, filing a complaint without evidence will not get you very far. This includes documented proof like receipts, contracts, medical records, and police reports. Also, any other important documents that could help your case will need to be included with the paperwork; these can include sales slips or medical bills.
Getting the Evidence Together
Evidence will only be accepted by the court if it’s properly organized and organized in a way that makes sense. Also, all evidence should be accompanied by an affidavit (a sworn written statement). However, you must make sure to organize your evidence well before filing the complaint because once the complaint is filed, you cannot submit anymore (with limited exceptions).
This also means that you need to have a way of proving that the evidence is real. While you might think this is obvious, it can sometimes be difficult to prove, particularly if the other party disputes what occurred. This usually happens if there are differing accounts about what happened or if the other party claims they don’t remember because they were too intoxicated. In any case, you should have a way to prove what occurred, such as getting witnesses or finding any evidence that confirms your claim.
What If You’re Not Ready
It’s important to be well-prepared for your case because rushing through it can cause problems or mistakes that could hurt you later on. Before filing the complaint, make sure everything is organized and all of your ducks are in a row.
The complaint can be filed with the court clerk at any time before trial, which means you have options even if you’re not ready yet. You do not need to file your claim immediately or on any specific date; it’s okay to take more time to prepare. Keep in mind that when the defendant is served, they will have a limited time to prepare their response.
The complaint will need to be filed in the correct court. This is where hiring a lawyer can help because you can ask them about what court would be best for your claim. For example, if you were injured in another state, it might make sense to file in that state’s small claims court, even if you have a larger claim.
How Long Will It Take
In general, you should know that filing a complaint will not take very long. In fact, the entire process from start to finish could be over in as little as a few months. However, this can vary depending on how much time is needed for both parties to prepare and gather evidence.
The defendant has a certain amount of time to respond, which is typically about 20 days. Once this response is filed, both parties will be able to conduct discovery (gather information), which means the case could take more than just a few months depending on how long the discovery lasts. Discovery can also lead to an out-of-court settlement, which would end the case.
While the entire process of filing a legal claim might seem daunting, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are plenty of resources available to help you through every step of the process. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. A good place to start is by talking to an attorney who can answer your questions and help guide you through the process.