Litigation Lawyers in Mercer Island
Residents of Mercer Island, 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 Mercer Island, Washington civil litigation attorney.
Once you have retained an attorney in Mercer Island, 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 Mercer Island, Washington
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Mercer Island, Washington lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Mercer Island, Washington. Your lawyer will have critical 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 Mercer Island, 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 typically 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: When you have determined that you want to file a lawsuit in Mercer Island, 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: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in Mercer Island, Washington, the defendant has time to respond. The most frequent response is known as an "answer," in which they particularly address the factual allegations you've made against them, normally 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 specific 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 Mercer Island, Washington Tort Lawyer Help?
The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the specifics involved in filing a lawsuit in Mercer Island, Washington.
Thus, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Mercer Island, Washington, you should not delay to talk with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.