Litigation Lawyers in Longview
Residents of Longview, 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 Longview, Washington civil litigation attorney.
Once you have retained an attorney in Longview, 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 Longview, Washington
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Longview, Washington lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Longview, Washington. Your lawyer will have essential information and advise, helping you decide whether or not your chances of success in the lawsuit make it worth your while to proceed.
Drafting The Complaint: In Longview, Washington, the initial step in filing a lawsuit is drafting a complaint. The complaint is a document that lays out all of your allegations against the person you're suing. It generally provides necessary background information, details the injuries you suffered, and why the person you're suing is to blame for those injuries. It also usually contains a specific "prayer" (request) for relief - a brief statement telling the court what the plaintiff is asking of it, such as monetary damages, and injunction, or other relief.
Serving The Defendant: Once you and your attorney have written a good complaint, and filed it with the court, it needs to be served on the defendant within a certain period of time. This is necessary under the law of Longview, Washington to ensure that the defendant actually knows that he's being sued, and has time to find a lawyer and prepare a defense. Generally, the defendant should be served in person. However, when this isn't possible, service by mail is also acceptable in a few instances.
Await Defendant's Response: In Longview, Washington, the law gives civil defendants a fairly long period of time (a month or two usually) to respond to a lawsuit against them. The most common response is either an answer (where they address the factual allegations against them, usually 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 usually 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 Longview, Washington Tort Lawyer Help?
The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the specifics involved in filing a lawsuit in Longview, Washington.
Thus, it is critical that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Longview, Washington.