Seeking monetary compensation through a civil lawsuit? Filing a lawsuit is often overwhelming for those who are not familiar with the process. As a dedicated immigration law firm, we often get clients who have been completely misinformed about their status. Some new U.S. permanent residents often have very little knowledge of their rights or available legal resources to solve civil matters.
Now, back that civil lawsuit. Let's say you walk into a grocery store and fall after stepping into a puddle of spilled olive oil. You break three bones in your foot. Your job requires you to be on your feet at all times. How can you get your lost income back? Who will cover your medical bills?
When to File a Civil Lawsuit
Thousands of lawsuits are filed every day, averaging to over 15 million civil lawsuits processed each year in state courts. Some try to persuade people to settle out of court, others require mediation at some point before going to trial.
If you’re thinking about filing a lawsuit against someone, here is a list of facts that you should be aware of in order to better prepare yourself for what may come.
The Civil Trial
If you sue someone and take him or her to court, you are making the claim that he/she has done you wrong. In legal terms, this is referred to as a tort. Even if that person might not have broken the law, he or she might have acted carelessly (intentionally or not), causing either emotional, physical or financial injury to yourself.
Providing grounds for any lawsuit, torts include, but are not limited to, trespassing, battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, product liability and negligence. The person being sued, if found guilty, may also have to pay punitive damages as a punishment for his or her negligence and recklessness. Punitive damages are meant to deter the defendant and others from similar behavior in the future.
The Steps of a Lawsuit
If you want to file a lawsuit, check out this shortlist of steps your professional lawyer will take before your case is settled:
- Try to settle out of court whenever possible
- Discovery, gather evidence for your lawsuit
- Pre-trial motions and discussion
- Settlement discussions
- Trial and judgement
- Appeals, request a higher court to reverse the decision of a trial court
According to the AttorneyGeneral, “Going to trial to have a judge hear evidence and decide your case may be one of the most expensive ways to resolve your dispute.” Keep in mind that there are other choices you can consider before suing such as negotiation, mediation and arbitration.
Have you sued someone in the past? What was your experience? We would love to hear your thoughts. Please don’t forget to leave a comment below.