Litigation Lawyers in West Plains
If you are in West Plains, Missouri and believe that some type of legal wrong has been committed against you, and decide 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 West Plains, Missouri civil litigation attorney.
Once you have hired an attorney in West Plains, Missouri, 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 West Plains, Missouri
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a West Plains, Missouri court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in West Plains, Missouri can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how likely it is to succeed.
Drafting The Complaint: In West Plains, Missouri, 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 typically 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. West Plains, Missouri has particular 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 the Response: The defendant in West Plains, Missouri has an opportunity to respond to the allegations against them. They have various 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). Typically, 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 West Plains, Missouri Tort Lawyer Help?
As you can see, it can be an intricate and difficult process to file a lawsuit in West Plains, Missouri, and it is, in fact, much more intricate than the basic outline you just read.
You should seek the advice of a knowledgeable litigation attorney if you are planning on filing a lawsuit against somebody who you think has wronged you in West Plains, Missouri.