Litigation Lawyers in Gig Harbor
Residents of Gig Harbor, Washington who suffer legal wrongs are normally legally entitled to compensation for harm they incurred as a result. This compensation is normally obtained by filing a lawsuit.
If you wish to file a lawsuit, there are many things you need to consider, and the decision to sue someone should not be made without the counsel of a Gig Harbor, Washington civil litigation attorney.
Once you have retained an attorney in Gig Harbor, 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 Gig Harbor, Washington
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Gig Harbor, Washington court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Gig Harbor, Washington can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how possible it is to prevail.
Drafting The Complaint: In Gig Harbor, 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 normally 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 Gig Harbor, 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 certain 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.
Await Defendant's Response: In Gig Harbor, Washington, the law gives civil defendants a fairly long period of time (a month or two normally) to respond to a lawsuit against them. The most frequent response is either an answer (where they address the factual allegations against them, normally denying most or all of the allegations) or a motion to dismiss (where the contend that, even if everything alleged in the complaint is true, those facts would not establish liability). If the defendant does nothing, and fails to respond, they run the risk of having a default judgment entered against them. This normally means that the court automatically rules against them, treating the plaintiff as if they won the lawsuit. This gives the plaintiff a judgment against the defendant, which they can seek to collect using all legal means.
How Can A Gig Harbor, Washington Tort Lawyer Help?
The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the specifics involved in filing a lawsuit in Gig Harbor, Washington.
Thus, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Gig Harbor, Washington, you should not delay to talk with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.