Litigation Lawyers in Ephrata
Residents of Ephrata, 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 Ephrata, Washington civil litigation attorney.
Once you have retained an attorney in Ephrata, 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 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 Ephrata, Washington
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in an Ephrata, Washington court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Ephrata, Washington can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how possible it is to prevail.
Drafting The Complaint: In Ephrata, Washington, the initial 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 decide if they add up to a legitimate 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: When you have determined that you want to file a lawsuit in Ephrata, Washington, 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 specific 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.
Awaiting the Defendant's Response: Once a lawsuit has been filed, and the defendant has been served in Ephrata, Washington, the defendant has time to respond. They usually do so by drafting an answer to the complaint, in which they deny the plaintiff's allegations, or assert a legal defense. If the defendant fails to respond within a set period of time, they will be in default, and you may be able to get a "default judgment" against them, in which all of your allegations against the defendant are viewed as if the defendant admitted them, and you only need to prove that you've suffered losses that warrant the damages you're asking for.
How Can A Ephrata, Washington Tort Lawyer Help?
As you can see, it can be a complicated and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Ephrata, Washington, 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 Ephrata, Washington.