Litigation Lawyers in Harrisburg
If you live in Harrisburg, Illinois and think that you might be the victim of a legal wrong, you may decide that it's worth suing over, to recover compensation from the person who wronged you.
If you wish to file a lawsuit, there are several things you need to consider, and the decision to sue someone should not be made without the counsel of a Harrisburg, Illinois civil litigation attorney.
Once you hire a Harrisburg, Illinois litigation attorney, he or she will be able to advise you on your chances of succeeding in your lawsuit. Furthermore, 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 Harrisburg, Illinois
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Harrisburg, Illinois court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Harrisburg, Illinois can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how likely it is to succeed.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Harrisburg, Illinois 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 have drafted your complaint, you need to serve the defendant with it, and file it with the court. Harrisburg, Illinois requires that lawsuits be served on defendants in a certain way. This is to ensure that the defendant has a good deal of notice that they're being sued, giving them time to find an attorney, and work on how they're going to defend themselves. It is strongly preferred to serve defendants in person (with a disinterested third party delivering the papers to the defendant). Sometimes, however, the defendant cannot be found, or is trying to avoid service, they can be served by mail with court approval.
Awaiting the Defendant's Response: Once a lawsuit has been filed, and the defendant has been served in Harrisburg, Illinois, the defendant has time to respond. They usually do so by drafting an answer to the complaint, in which they deny the plaintiff's allegations, or assert a legal defense. If the defendant fails to respond within a set period of time, they will be in default, and you may be able to get a "default judgment" against them, in which all of your allegations against the defendant are treated as if the defendant admitted them, and you only need to prove that you've suffered losses that warrant the damages you're asking for.
How Can A Harrisburg, Illinois Tort Lawyer Help?
This article gives you a basic picture of what is required to file a lawsuit in Harrisburg, Illinois. However, it should not, under any circumstances, be read as a complete guide to the litigation process.
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 Harrisburg, Illinois attorney.