Litigation Lawyers in Burlington
If you live in , Iowa, and believe that you have suffered some type of legal wrong, you may wish to file a lawsuit against the person who allegedly wronged you.
If you are contemplating filing a lawsuit, you should know that there are many factors that need to be considered before doing so. You should definitely hire a good attorney from Burlington, Iowa before you proceed.
The Burlington, Iowa attorney you end up hiring will be able to advise you on whether you have a good case. If you do, they will also advise you on your best options on how to proceed. Your lawyer can also inform you about what their fees are, and if they have multiple payment options.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Burlington, Iowa
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Burlington, Iowa lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Burlington, Iowa. Your lawyer will have crucial information and advise, helping you decide whether or not your chances of success in the lawsuit make it worth your while to proceed.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Burlington, Iowa court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is usually the first step in actually filing a lawsuit. The complaint is the plaintiff's first opportunity to lay out the allegations against the defendant. If a complaint doesn't allege facts that add up to a valid lawsuit (that is, even if everything alleged in the complaint is true, the defendant has still not committed a legal wrong that the court can compensate), the case will have to be dismissed. When a case is dismissed for this reason, the court usually gives the plaintiff a chance to re-submit the complaint, with the errors corrected.
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. Burlington, Iowa has specific 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 in Burlington, Iowa 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.
How Can A Burlington, Iowa Tort Lawyer Help?
As you can see, it can be a complicated and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Burlington, Iowa, and it is, in fact, much more complicated than the basic outline you just read.
You should seek the advice of a qualified litigation attorney if you are planning on filing a lawsuit against somebody who you think has wronged you in Burlington, Iowa.