Litigation Lawyers in Ingham County
If you live in Ingham County, Michigan 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 are contemplating filing a lawsuit, you should know that there are many factors that need to be considered before doing so. You should definitely retain a brilliant attorney from Ingham County, Michigan before you proceed.
Your Ingham County, Michigan civil litigation attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not you have a legitimate case, and, if so, your best options on how to proceed. The attorney will also discuss with you the fees for their services, and whether he or she can represent you on a contingency basis.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Ingham County, Michigan
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in an Ingham County, Michigan court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Ingham County, Michigan can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how likely it is to succeed.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in an Ingham County, Michigan court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is normally the first 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 valid 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 normally 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. Ingham County, Michigan requires that lawsuits be served on defendants in a particular 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 strongly preferred to serve defendants in person (with a disinterested third party delivering the papers to the defendant). Sometimes, 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 Ingham County, Michigan 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 Ingham County, Michigan Tort Lawyer Help?
This simple outline is meant to give you a general idea of what goes into filing a lawsuit in Ingham County, Michigan, 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 Ingham County, Michigan.