Litigation Lawyers in Madison
Residents of Madison, Wisconsin 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're contemplating filing a lawsuit, there are various things you need to consider, and it is not a decision to be made lightly. You should not file a lawsuit without seeking the advice of a Madison, Wisconsin civil litigation attorney first.
Your Madison, Wisconsin civil litigation attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not you have a legitimate case, and, if so, your best avenues on how to proceed. The attorney will also discuss with you the fees for their services, and whether he or she can represent you on a contingency basis.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Madison, Wisconsin
Consultation with your attorney: Before you proceed with any legal action in Madison, Wisconsin, you should seek the advice and counsel of a reliable Madison, Wisconsin attorney. He or she will be indispensable in helping you succeed in your lawsuit.
Drafting The Complaint: In Madison, Wisconsin, 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 typically 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 Madison, Wisconsin, 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 particular 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.
Awaiting the Defendant's Response: Once a lawsuit has been filed, and the defendant has been served in Madison, Wisconsin, the defendant has time to respond. They typically do so by drafting an answer to the complaint, in which they deny the plaintiff's allegations, or assert a legal defense. If the defendant fails to respond within a set period of time, they will be in default, and you may be able to get a "default judgment" against them, in which all of your allegations against the defendant are viewed as if the defendant admitted them, and you only need to establish that you've suffered losses that warrant the damages you're asking for.
How Can A Madison, Wisconsin Tort Lawyer Help?
As you can see, it can be a intricate and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Madison, Wisconsin, and it is, in fact, much more intricate than the basic outline you just read.
If you have suffered a legal wrong in and decide to sue the person who you believed wronged you, you should speak with a qualified Madison, Wisconsin attorney.