Lawsuits usually occur when one person believes another person has caused them financial, physical, or emotional damage. The goal of the lawsuit is to recover financial compensation for damages. A person does not have to be guilty of a crime to be sued in civil court.The term civil litigation refers to the actions a person and their civil litigation lawyer will take before, during, and after a lawsuit. People will often settle a case out of court when their attorneys negotiate with each other. There are a few different steps involved in litigation.
Who Are the Parties in a Litigation?
The parties in a lawsuit are called litigants. The party filing the lawsuit is called the plaintiff, and the party being sued is called the defendant. In most cases, both parties will have attorneys representing them. However, the parties in a lawsuit are not legally required to have lawyers.
Some people choose pro se litigation, meaning they will represent themselves in negotiations and court. People who represent themselves rarely win in court since litigation requires knowledge of the legal system.
You will have to fill out detailed paperwork, do thorough research, interview witnesses, and sometimes hire expert witnesses when you represent yourself in court. An attorney has professional training and can do all of that for you.
The Lawsuit Process
Before a lawsuit is filed, the lawyer for the plaintiff will send a demand letter to the person being sued. If the person being sued pays up, there will be no lawsuit. If they believe they should not pay, they will hire an attorney. The lawyer for the plaintiff and the attorney for the defendant will negotiate with one another. If no deal can be reached, a lawsuit will be filed.
The court where the lawsuit should be filed will depend on the amount of money the plaintiff is suing for, where they live, and where the person or business they are suing is located.
Once a lawsuit is filed, the plaintiff must have the defendant served with papers. If the defendant does not respond, the plaintiff will win by default. The defendant will file an answer if they want to go to court.
Once the answer is filed, the case will enter the discovery phase. Both sides will share information with one another. Each attorney will write a list of questions for the other side to answer. There will be a deposition where attorneys can question witnesses on videotape.
The lawyers will negotiate with each other throughout the process. If they still cannot reach a deal, they will go to court.
Your case will be heard by a judge or jury. If the jury rules in the plaintiff’s favor. They will be awarded a certain amount of money. If the defendant wins, they will not have to pay any money.
Litigation can take years. However, if you win your case, it may be worth it.
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