General Information About a Lawsuit


A lawsuit is a legal proceeding initiated by one party, called the plaintiff, to resolve a dispute with another party, known as the defendant. The dispute may be related to property damage, contract disputes, wrongful death or injuries to persons or businesses, unsecured debt such as credit card and medical bills, employment issues and more. This article offers general information about a lawsuit and includes specific instructions on how to proceed if you are being sued for a debt or if you are seeking damages for a personal injury.

When should you consider a lawsuit?

A good time to consider a lawsuit is when you feel you have grounds to do so. You must have a solid cause of action, which is a legal theory on how the other party wrongfully caused you to suffer monetary loss and can be compensated by the court for that monetary loss. This foundation is built in a document called the complaint, which is filed with the court.

Once the defendant is notified of the lawsuit, they are given a certain amount of time to file an answer and counter-claims with the court. The answer can deny your allegations, explain their side of the story, or request for the case to be dismissed due to a lack of a valid legal basis. It is important for you to understand the nuances of the law in your jurisdiction before responding to an answer or filing counter-claims, as many cases go up and down the appeals ladder before final resolution.

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