Litigation Lawyers in Winnetka
If you live in Winnetka, 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 many things you need to consider, and the decision to sue someone should not be made without the counsel of a Winnetka, Illinois civil litigation attorney.
Once you have hired an attorney in Winnetka, 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 give 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 Winnetka, Illinois
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Winnetka, Illinois lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Winnetka, Illinois. Your lawyer will have crucial information and advise, helping you decide whether or not your chances of success in the lawsuit make it worth your while to proceed.
Drafting the complaint: In Winnetka, Illinois, once you have decided to file a lawsuit, the first thing you normally have to do is draft a complaint. The complaint is a document that contains all of the allegations you're making against the defendant (the person whom you are suing). It normally must allege all of the facts necessary to constitute a cause of action, though in some systems, very few facts are strictly required to be alleged. It also usually has, at the end, a "prayer" (request) for relief. This final section tells the court what type of relief the plaintiff wants, should the court rule in the plaintiff's favor.
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 Winnetka, Illinois requires that the defendant be given advance notice of the lawsuit as a matter of basic 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, typically through the use of a paid process server.
Await the Response: The defendant in Winnetka, Illinois has an opportunity to respond to the allegations against them. They have many 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 basically operates as a denial). Normally, 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 Winnetka, Illinois Tort Lawyer Help?
The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the details involved in filing a lawsuit in Winnetka, Illinois.
Accordingly, it's always a good idea to speak with a Winnetka, Illinois litigation attorney if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against a person or company.