Litigation Lawyers in Lakewood
If you are in Lakewood, Ohio 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 are contemplating filing a lawsuit, you should know that there are many factors that need to be considered before doing so. You should definitely hire a reputable attorney from Lakewood, Ohio before you proceed.
Once you have retained an attorney in Lakewood, Ohio, 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 provide 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 Lakewood, Ohio
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Lakewood, Ohio court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Lakewood, Ohio can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how possible it is to prevail.
Drafting The Complaint: In Lakewood, Ohio, the initial step in filing a lawsuit is drafting a complaint. The complaint is a document that lays out all of your allegations against the person you're suing. It generally provides necessary background information, details the injuries you suffered, and why the person you're suing is to blame for those injuries. It also usually contains a specific "prayer" (request) for relief - a brief statement telling the court what the plaintiff is asking of it, such as monetary damages, and injunction, or other relief.
Serving The Defendant: Once you have drafted your complaint, you need to serve the defendant with it, and file it with the court. Lakewood, Ohio requires that lawsuits be served on defendants in a certain 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 highly preferred to serve defendants in person (with a disinterested third party delivering the papers to the defendant). Occasionally, 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 Lakewood, Ohio has an chance to respond to the allegations against them. They have several 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 essentially operates as a denial). Usually, 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 Lakewood, Ohio Tort Lawyer Help?
As you can see, it can be a complicated and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Lakewood, Ohio, and it is, in fact, much more complicated than the basic outline you just read.
You should seek the advice of a qualified litigation attorney if you are planning on filing a lawsuit against somebody who you think has wronged you in Lakewood, Ohio.