Litigation Lawyers in Edmonds
Residents of Edmonds, 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 an Edmonds, Washington civil litigation attorney.
Once you have hired an attorney in Edmonds, 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 Edmonds, Washington
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in an Edmonds, Washington court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Edmonds, Washington can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how likely it is to succeed.
Drafting The Complaint: In Edmonds, 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: After you draft your complaint, and file it with the court, you have to let the defendant know that they're being sued. The law of Edmonds, Washington requires that the defendant be given advance notice of the lawsuit as a matter of basic fairness: if you were being sued, you'd want to be given time to find a lawyer and prepare your defense strategy, right? So, with that in mind, the law prefers that defendants be served personally, generally through the use of a paid process server.
Await Defendant's Response: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in Edmonds, 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 Edmonds, Washington Tort Lawyer Help?
This article gives you a basic picture of what is required to file a lawsuit in Edmonds, Washington. However, it should not, under any circumstances, be read as a complete guide to the litigation process.
Therefore, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Edmonds, Washington, you should not hesitate to speak with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.