Litigation Lawyers in Sterling
If you live in Sterling, 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 many things you need to consider, and the decision to sue someone should not be made without the counsel of a Sterling, Illinois civil litigation attorney.
Once you have retained an attorney in Sterling, Illinois, he or she will be able to help you devise a strategy on how to proceed, which will hopefully maximize your chances of success in your lawsuit. Your lawyer can also provide you a rough idea of how much the lawsuit is likely to cost, taking into account court fees, expert witness fees, and other costs.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Sterling, Illinois
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Sterling, Illinois court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Sterling, Illinois can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how possible it is to prevail.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you determine that pursuing a lawsuit in Sterling, 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 normally 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. Sterling, Illinois has certain 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 Sterling, Illinois, the defendant has time to respond. The most frequent response is known as an "answer," in which they particularly address the factual allegations you've made against them, normally 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 specific 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 Sterling, Illinois Tort Lawyer Help?
The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the specifics involved in filing a lawsuit in Sterling, Illinois.
Thus, it is critical that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Sterling, Illinois.