Litigation Lawyers in Mattoon
If you live in Mattoon, 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 various things you need to consider, and the decision to sue someone should not be made without the counsel of a Mattoon, Illinois civil litigation attorney.
Once you contact a Mattoon, Illinois 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 Mattoon, Illinois
Consultation with your attorney: Before you proceed with any legal action in Mattoon, Illinois, you should seek the advice and counsel of a reliable Mattoon, Illinois attorney. He or she will be indispensable in helping you succeed in your lawsuit.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you determine that pursuing a lawsuit in Mattoon, Illinois civil court is worth your time and effort, you need to file a complaint. The complaint can set the tone, and frame the issues, for the rest of the litigation procedure, which can drag on for months, or even years (and decades, in some cases). This is because the complaint lays out all the allegations against the defendant. It also typically asks the court for particular relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
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. Mattoon, Illinois has particular 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 Defendant's Response: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in Mattoon, Illinois, 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 Mattoon, Illinois Tort Lawyer Help?
This article gives you a general picture of what is necessary to file a lawsuit in Mattoon, Illinois. However, it should not, under any circumstances, be read as a complete guide to the litigation process.
Thus, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Mattoon, Illinois, you should not delay to talk with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.