24 Mar Law Basics: What Is a Civil Litigation?
When you can’t resolve a dispute with someone else, where do you turn? If the other person hasn’t broken the law, then do you have any legal recourse at all?
Thankfully, you do!
Torts, which are actions that cause harm to someone else, give rise to lawsuits. This year, an estimated 40 million lawsuits will get filed in civil courts around the nation.
Are you wondering if you have a case after getting harmed by someone else? If so, then you need to learn the basics of civil litigation. Read on to get informed and become empowered.
What’s Civil Litigation? The Basics
So, what exactly is civil litigation? Sometimes, people cause harm to another without breaking the law. When that happens, the dispute isn’t a criminal matter.
Instead, it’s handled in civil courts.
Civil courts aim to resolve disputes between two parties. By seeking a suit, the plaintiff hopes to achieve:
- A change in the party’s legal status (divorce, parental custody)
- A court order demanding the other party stop committing the harmful act
- Financial compensation
The burden of proof is much lower in civil court than in criminal court. Conclusions get reached based on a “preponderance of the evidence.”
Common Types of Civil Cases
So, what types of disputes give rise to civil litigation? Quite a few, as it turns out! Here are some of the most common types of civil cases:
- Personal injury claims
- Medical malpractice
- Employment disputes
- Divorce and family law
- Intellectual property
- Breach of contract
Statistics show that the harm suffered is a personal injury in 92% of tort cases. In the remaining ones, the penalty is either financial or damage to one’s reputation.
What Does a Civil Litigation Attorney Do?
When you’re facing a legal challenge, it’s a good idea to hire a legal expert. Civil litigation attorneys will play many roles throughout your case. Good lawyers will do the following:
- Determine if you have the basis for a claim
- Determine if you can defend yourself against a claim
- Help investigators gather and preserve evidence
- Interview witnesses
- Prepare legal documentation
- Represent you in a courtroom setting
- Advise you on your best course of action
It’s important to note that you’re not required to hire a lawyer to file a lawsuit. In most situations, it’s in your best interest to do so, though. The other party will likely hire a lawyer, so not doing so could put you at an instant disadvantage.
Do You Think You Have a Case?
Civil litigation is a blanket term that encompasses many types of disputes that wind up in court. These disputes arise when one party causes harm to another. One party suffers losses, and courts attempt to determine who should pay the costs.
The concept seems simple enough, but the litigation often isn’t.
If you think you have a case, it’s a good idea to confirm your suspicions with a lawyer. They’ll help you determine whether seeking out a lawsuit would be beneficial for you.
Are you ready to speak with an expert now? Get in touch with us on our online form today to hear from one of our civil litigation attorneys.