Litigation Lawyers in Lakewood
Residents of Lakewood, Washington who suffer legal wrongs are typically legally entitled to compensation for harm they incurred as a result. This compensation is typically obtained by filing a lawsuit.
If you wish to file a lawsuit, there are various things you need to consider, and the decision to sue someone should not be made without the counsel of a Lakewood, Washington civil litigation attorney.
Once you have hired an attorney in Lakewood, 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 Lakewood, Washington
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Lakewood, Washington court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Lakewood, Washington can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how likely it is to succeed.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you decide that pursuing a lawsuit in Lakewood, Washington civil court is worth your time and effort, you need to file a complaint. The complaint can set the tone, and frame the issues, for the rest of the litigation process, which can drag on for months, or even years (and decades, in some cases). This is because the complaint lays out all the allegations against the defendant. It also typically asks the court for 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 Lakewood, 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, usually through the use of a paid process server.
Await The Response: The defendant has a given amount of time to respond to your lawsuit, once they confirm that they've been served in Lakewood, Washington. The defendant will probably respond with an answer to your complaint. An answer is a document in which the defendant admits or denies the specific factual allegations made by the plaintiff. Normally, the defendant will admit the allegations that are not seriously in dispute (for example, if the lawsuit concerns a car accident, they'll probably admit that an accident did, in fact, take place), but deny the more serious allegations (they'll probably deny that they were responsible for the accident). If the defendant fails to respond within a predetermined period of time, they are in "default," and basically lose the case automatically.
How Can A Lakewood, Washington Tort Lawyer Help?
This article gives you a basic picture of what is required to file a lawsuit in Lakewood, Washington. However, it should not, under any circumstances, be read as a complete guide to the litigation process.
Accordingly, it's always a good idea to speak with a Lakewood, Washington litigation attorney if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against a person or company.