Litigation Lawyers in Hannibal
If you are in Hannibal, Missouri and believe that some form of legal wrong has been committed against you, and determine that seeking legal redress will be worth the time and expense involved, you may wish to file a lawsuit.
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 Hannibal, Missouri civil litigation attorney.
The Hannibal, Missouri attorney you end up retaining will be able to advise you on whether you have a good case. If you do, they will further advise you on your best options on how to proceed. Your lawyer can also inform you about what their fees are, and if they have multiple payment options.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Hannibal, Missouri
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Hannibal, Missouri lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Hannibal, Missouri. Your lawyer will have essential information and advise, helping you decide whether or not your chances of success in the lawsuit make it worth your while to proceed.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Hannibal, Missouri court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is typically the initial 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 legitimate 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 typically gives the plaintiff a chance to re-submit the complaint, with the errors corrected.
Serving the Defendant: When you have determined that you want to file a lawsuit in Hannibal, Missouri, and have drafted the complaint, your next important step is to file the complaint with the court, and serve it on the defendant. The defendant must be given at least several weeks' notice that they're being sued, and as much time to review the complaint. This is a matter of general fairness and due process, and allows the defendant to hire a lawyer and get to work on a defense. The law requires that the defendant be served in a few particular ways. The initial choice is to give it to them in person. This has to be done by a person who does not have any direct involvement in the lawsuit. If that isn't possible, the defendant can be served by giving the complaint to another adult member of their household; this is called substituted service.
Await The Response: The defendant has a given amount of time to respond to your lawsuit, once they confirm that they've been served in Hannibal, Missouri. The defendant will likely respond with an answer to your complaint. An answer is a document in which the defendant admits or denies the specific factual allegations made by the plaintiff. Normally, the defendant will admit the allegations that are not seriously in dispute (for instance, if the lawsuit concerns a car accident, they'll probably admit that an accident did, in fact, take place), but deny the more serious allegations (they'll probably deny that they were responsible for the accident). If the defendant fails to respond within a predetermined period of time, they are in "default," and basically lose the case automatically.
How Can A Hannibal, Missouri Tort Lawyer Help?
As you can see, it can be an intricate and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Hannibal, Missouri, and it is, in fact, much more intricate than the basic outline you just read.
Thus, it is important that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Hannibal, Missouri.