A personal injury claim is brought in a civil litigation process. If you
are considering filing a personal injury claim, it is important to know how the
civil litigation process works. The civil justice system allows for an entity to hold another accountable
for damages incurred. In the case of a personal injury claim, one of many
that can be resolved in civil court, someone has been harmed due to another’s
negligence, malpractice, or carelessness. A civil suit allows them to
hold the party at fault accountable. A civil suit can include compensation
for monetary losses such as concrete financial costs related to injuries
and harm as well as other losses such as loss of companionship and suffering.
In other words, civil litigation helps the affected party to seek justice
for all losses incurred. An
experienced personal injury lawyer can help you better understand civil litigation and how to file a claim.
Civil Justice Process
To initiate a civil case, the individual bringing the case must file a
complaint against the other party. The person bringing the case is called
the plaintiff. The entity or person against which the case is brought
is called the defendant. The complaint involves a list of allegations
that the plaintiff makes against the defendant. The defendant has options
as to how they wish to follow the filing of the complaint. They can respond
formally or make a variety of motions. The case may go through different
motions and eventually may go to trial. In the trial, each side gets the
opportunity to present their case. In the majority of civil cases, a
settlement is reached before the case goes to trial. A settlement is when both sides
mutually agree to a resolution and can occur at any time during the civil
case process. For example, a settlement can be reached before a suit is
filed, as well as before, during, or after a trial.
Differences Between Civil and Criminal Court
A civil suit is a private lawsuit initiated by the plaintiff whereas the
Prosecuting Attorney, who represents the State, initiates a criminal case.
Another difference between criminal and civil proceedings is the burden
of proof. In a criminal court, guilt must be proved beyond a reasonable
doubt. Beyond a reasonable doubt means that the jurors or judge do not
have doubts as to the defendant’s guilt. In a civil suit, the plaintiff
must prove the allegations. The plaintiff must show a preponderance of
evidence, meaning that it is more likely than not that the claims set
forth are true. Another difference is the outcome in civil versus criminal
court. In criminal court, if the defendant is found guilty, there is a
punishment of some sort placed upon them. In civil court, the outcome
is for the defendant to pay damages to the plaintiff.
Contact Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.
If you have been wronged by the recklessness of an individual or entity,
you can consider filing a civil law case. Experienced Atlanta metro area
attorneys at Goldstein and Hayes can provide you with the guidance and
expertise you need to understand and file a suit.
Contact Goldstein and Hayes today for your free consultation.