Filing a Lawsuit in Prattville, 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 Prattville, Alabama civil litigation attorney first.
Once you have hired an attorney in Prattville, Alabama, he or she will be able to help you devise a strategy on how to proceed, which will hopefully maximize your chances of success in your lawsuit. Your lawyer can also give you a rough idea of how much the lawsuit is likely to cost, taking into account court fees, expert witness fees, and other costs.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Prattville, Alabama
Consultation With Your Attorney: Before filing any lawsuit in Prattville, Alabama, you should speak with a local attorney. Your Prattville, Alabama attorney will be able to advise you on the merits of your lawsuit, and your chances of success.
Drafting The Complaint: In Prattville, Alabama, the first step to filing a lawsuit, once you've actually decided to do so (in consultation with your attorney), is writing a complaint. A complaint is simply a list of facts that you allege against the defendant. A court must look at these allegations and determine if they add up to a valid cause of action, assuming they're true. If they do not add up to a cause of action, the case may be dismissed. The complaint also usually ask the court to provide specific relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving The Defendant: After you draft your complaint, and file it with the court, you have to let the defendant know that they're being sued. The law of Prattville, Alabama requires that the defendant be given advance notice of the lawsuit as a matter of basic fairness: if you were being sued, you'd want to be given time to find a lawyer and prepare your defense strategy, right? So, with that in mind, the law prefers that defendants be served personally, generally through the use of a paid process server.
Await the Response: The defendant in Prattville, Alabama has an opportunity to respond to the allegations against them. They have several options in how they respond to a lawsuit. They can move to dismiss the case (arguing that, even if everything the complaint alleges is true, they would still not be liable for anything), or they can file with the court, and serve upon the plaintiff an answer. An answer is a point-by-point disposal of every allegation against the defendant. The defendant can admit the allegations, deny them, or claim that they do not have enough information to admit or deny them (which basically operates as a denial). Usually, the defendant will admit the inconsequential allegations, so they don't have to be litigated (if the lawsuit is about a car accident involving the plaintiff and defendant, they'll probably go ahead and admit that the accident took place), but deny any allegation that could establish liability, if true (they'll deny responsibility for the car accident, for example). If the defendant does not respond by the deadline, they will have a default judgment entered against them, and automatically lose the case.
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As you can see, it can be a complicated and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Prattville, Alabama, and it is, in fact, much more complicated 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 consult with a qualified Prattville, Alabama attorney.