Litigation Lawyers in Ottumwa
If you live in , Iowa, and believe that you have sustained some form of legal wrong, you may wish to file a lawsuit against the individual 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 contact a reliable attorney from Ottumwa, Iowa before you proceed.
Once you contact an Ottumwa, Iowa 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 Ottumwa, Iowa
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in an Ottumwa, Iowa court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Ottumwa, Iowa can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how possible it is to prevail.
Drafting The Complaint: In Ottumwa, Iowa, 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 usually 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: 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 Ottumwa, Iowa states that the defendant be given advance notice of the lawsuit as a matter of general 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, usually through the use of a paid process server.
Await Defendant's Response: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in Ottumwa, Iowa, the defendant has time to respond. The most prevalent response is known as an "answer," in which they particularly address the factual allegations you've made against them, typically by denying most of the allegations. They might also move to dismiss the case if they can argue that the complaint is legally flawed. A judge then has to rule on this motion. If the defendant doesn't respond within a given period of time, they are said to have "defaulted." This allows the court to enter a default judgment, in which the plaintiff essentially automatically wins the lawsuit. Once this happens, the defendant, if they're ever located, can be served with the judgment, and will have very little power to challenge the merits of your case.
How Can A Ottumwa, Iowa Tort Lawyer Help?
The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the specifics involved in filing a lawsuit in Ottumwa, Iowa.
Thus, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Ottumwa, Iowa, you should not delay to talk with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.