Filing a Lawsuit in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama
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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 Tuscaloosa County, Alabama civil litigation attorney first.
Once you have retained an attorney in Tuscaloosa County, 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 provide 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 Tuscaloosa County, Alabama
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Tuscaloosa County, Alabama lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. Your lawyer will have essential information and advise, helping you decide whether or not your chances of success in the lawsuit make it worth your while to proceed.
Drafting The Complaint: In Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, the initial step in filing a lawsuit is drafting a complaint. The complaint is a document that lays out all of your allegations against the person you're suing. It typically provides necessary background information, details the injuries you suffered, and why the person you're suing is to blame for those injuries. It also usually contains a specific "prayer" (request) for relief - a brief statement telling the court what the plaintiff is asking of it, such as monetary damages, and injunction, or other relief.
Serving The Defendant: Once you and your attorney have written a good complaint, and filed it with the court, it needs to be served on the defendant within a particular period of time. This is necessary under the law of Tuscaloosa County, Alabama to ensure that the defendant actually knows that he's being sued, and has time to find a lawyer and prepare a defense. Generally, the defendant should be served in person. However, when this isn't possible, service by mail is also acceptable in a few instances.
Await The Response: The defendant has a specific amount of time to respond to your lawsuit, once they confirm that they've been served in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. The defendant will likely 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. Usually, the defendant will admit the allegations that are not seriously in dispute (for instance, 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 specific period of time, they are in "default," and basically lose the case automatically.
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This simple outline is meant to give you a basic idea of what goes into filing a lawsuit in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, but it is by no means a comprehensive guide.
Thus, it is essential that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama.