Litigation Lawyers in Lake County
If you live in Lake County, Indiana 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 Lake County, Indiana civil litigation attorney.
When you contact a civil litigation lawyer in Lake County, Indiana, they'll be able to give you some very useful advice, particularly in devising a strategy that maximizes your chances of winning your lawsuit. You'll probably also wonder how much this lawsuit is going to cost you, especially if you don't win. This largely depends on the attorney's fee structure. If the attorney charges an hourly rate, you will simply have to pay the lawyer for every hour they work. This can add up to a huge amount of money, very quickly. If they charge on a contingency basis, you do not have to pay any attorney's fees unless you win, and payment comes in the form of the percentage of the judgment. However, if you lose, you might still be responsible for costs, such as court fees, which are incurred no matter what happens to the case.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Lake County, Indiana
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Lake County, Indiana court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Lake County, Indiana can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how likely it is to succeed.
Drafting The Complaint: In Lake County, Indiana, the first step to filing a lawsuit, once you've actually decided to do so (in consultation with your attorney), is writing a complaint. A complaint is simply a list of facts that you allege against the defendant. A court must look at these allegations and determine if they add up to a valid cause of action, assuming they're true. If they do not add up to a cause of action, the case may be dismissed. The complaint also normally ask the court to provide specific 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. Lake County, Indiana 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 Lake County, Indiana, the defendant has time to respond. The most frequent response is known as an "answer," in which they specifically 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 Lake County, Indiana Tort Lawyer Help?
This simple outline is meant to give you a general idea of what goes into filing a lawsuit in Lake County, Indiana, but it is by no means a comprehensive guide.
You should seek the advice of a reliable litigation attorney if you are planning on filing a lawsuit against somebody who you think has wronged you in Lake County, Indiana.