Litigation Lawyers in College Place
Residents of College Place, Washington who suffer legal wrongs are usually legally entitled to compensation for harm they incurred as a result. This compensation is usually obtained by filing a lawsuit.
If you wish to file a lawsuit, there are several things you need to consider, and the decision to sue someone should not be made without the counsel of a College Place, Washington civil litigation attorney.
Once you have hired an attorney in College Place, Washington, 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 College Place, Washington
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a College Place, Washington court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in College Place, Washington can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how likely it is to succeed.
Drafting The Complaint: In College Place, Washington, 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 usually 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. College Place, Washington has specific 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 College Place, Washington, the defendant has time to respond. The most common response is known as an "answer," in which they specifically address the factual allegations you've made against them, usually 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 certain 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 College Place, Washington Tort Lawyer Help?
The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the details involved in filing a lawsuit in College Place, Washington.
If you have suffered a legal wrong in and decide to sue the person who you believed wronged you, you should consult with a qualified College Place, Washington attorney.