When faced with a dispute that cannot be resolved, where can you turn for legal recourse? Even if no laws have been broken, you still have options! Torts, which refer to actions that cause harm to someone else, can give rise to lawsuits. Every year, approximately 40 million lawsuits are filed in civil courts across the country. If you’re wondering whether you have a case after being harmed by someone else, it’s essential to understand the fundamentals of civil litigation. Keep reading to educate yourself and gain empowerment.
What is Civil Litigation? An Overview
So, what exactly constitutes civil litigation? Sometimes, harm can be caused without any laws being broken. In these instances, the dispute becomes a matter for civil courts to handle. Civil courts aim to resolve conflicts between two parties. By filing a lawsuit, the plaintiff seeks to achieve the following:
- A change in the party’s legal status (such as divorce or parental custody)
- A court order requiring the other party to cease the harmful action
- Financial compensation
The burden of proof in civil court is much lower compared to criminal court. Decisions are made based on a “preponderance of the evidence.”
Common Types of Civil Cases
Which types of disputes lead to civil litigation? There are quite a few! Here are some of the most common categories:
- Personal injury claims
- Medical malpractice
- Employment disputes
- Divorce and family law matters
- Intellectual property
- Breach of contract
Statistics indicate that personal injury accounts for 92% of tort cases. In the remaining cases, the penalty may be financial or damage to one’s reputation.
The Role of a Civil Litigation Attorney
When facing a legal challenge, it’s wise to seek the expertise of a legal professional. Civil litigation attorneys play multiple roles throughout your case. A competent lawyer will:
- Determine if you have a valid claim
- Assess if you can defend yourself against a claim
- Assist in gathering and preserving evidence
- Interview witnesses
- Prepare legal documentation
- Represent you in a courtroom setting
- Provide advice on the best course of action
Keep in mind that you aren’t obligated to hire a lawyer to file a lawsuit. However, in most situations, it’s in your best interest to do so. The opposing party is likely to have legal representation, and not having your own attorney could put you at an immediate disadvantage.
Do You Believe You Have a Case?
Civil litigation is a broad term that encompasses various types of disputes that end up in court. These disputes arise when one party causes harm to another, resulting in losses that courts strive to address. While the concept may seem straightforward, the actual litigation process often proves to be complex. If you believe you have a case, it’s advisable to consult with a lawyer to determine whether pursuing a lawsuit would be beneficial for you.
Are you ready to speak with an expert? Reach out to us through our online form today to hear from one of our civil litigation attorneys. Garrity Traina is here to help.