Litigation Lawyers in Seattle
Residents of Seattle, 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 Seattle, Washington civil litigation attorney.
Once you have hired an attorney in Seattle, 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 Seattle, Washington
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Seattle, Washington lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Seattle, Washington. Your lawyer will have crucial 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: Once you decide that pursuing a lawsuit in Seattle, 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 normally asks the court for specific relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
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 particular period of time. This is required under the law of Seattle, 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 The Response: The defendant has a specific amount of time to respond to your lawsuit, once they confirm that they've been served in Seattle, 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. Usually, 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 specific period of time, they are in "default," and basically lose the case automatically.
How Can A Seattle, Washington Tort Lawyer Help?
This simple outline is meant to give you a general idea of what goes into filing a lawsuit in Seattle, Washington, but it is by no means a comprehensive guide.
Accordingly, it's always a good idea to speak with a Seattle, Washington litigation attorney if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against a person or company.