Litigation Lawyers in Harwood Heights
If you live in Harwood Heights, Illinois and think that you might be the victim of a legal wrong, you may determine that it's worth suing over, to recover compensation from the individual 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 Harwood Heights, Illinois civil litigation attorney.
Once you hire a Harwood Heights, 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 Harwood Heights, Illinois
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Harwood Heights, Illinois court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Harwood Heights, Illinois can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how possible it is to prevail.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Harwood Heights, Illinois court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is usually the initial 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 legitimate 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. Harwood Heights, 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 highly preferred to serve defendants in person (with a disinterested third party delivering the papers to the defendant). Occasionally, however, the defendant cannot be found, or is trying to avoid service, they can be served by mail with court approval.
Await the Response: The defendant in Harwood Heights, Illinois has an chance 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 essentially 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 Harwood Heights, Illinois Tort Lawyer Help?
Filing a lawsuit in a Harwood Heights, Illinois court is a bit more complicated than the basic outline laid out above.
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 Harwood Heights, Illinois.