Filing a Lawsuit in Gardendale, Alabama
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If you're considering filing a lawsuit, there are numerous 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 Gardendale, Alabama civil litigation attorney first.
Once you contact a Gardendale, Alabama 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 Gardendale, Alabama
Consultation with your attorney: Before you continue in any legal action in Gardendale, Alabama, you should speak with a knowledgeable local attorney in Gardendale, Alabama. 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 the complaint: In Gardendale, Alabama, once you have decided to file a lawsuit, the first thing you typically 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 typically 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 normally 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, or your lawyer, have drafted a complaint, the defendant must be served with it, so they have notice that they're being sued, and are given time to prepare a defense. Gardendale, Alabama has particular rules governing how a complaint must be served, for the service to be valid. Personal service (having someone give the documents directly to the defendant) is preferred. However, some courts will also accept service by mail in limited circumstances, or service upon an adult member of the defendant's household.
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 Gardendale, Alabama. 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.
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As you can see, it can be a intricate and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Gardendale, Alabama, and it is, in fact, much more intricate than the basic outline you just read.
If you have suffered a legal wrong in and decide to sue the person who you believed wronged you, you should speak with a qualified Gardendale, Alabama attorney.