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Civil Litigation

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.