A lawsuit is a civil legal action filed by one person or entity (the plaintiff) against another person or entity (the defendant). It can be brought for many reasons, including property damage or personal injury, contract disputes, credit card debt, work-related claims, or even divorce.
To sue someone, you must be confident that you have grounds to do so and that you can make a strong case in court. You also need to know where and how to file your suit.
This guide gives you an overview of the general steps in a civil case from the beginning of a lawsuit to trial. It will help you decide whether to get a lawyer and what kind of lawyer to hire. It will also give you tips for navigating the civil justice system on your own if you decide to proceed without an attorney.
There are many different types of remedies available in a lawsuit, but most of the time when someone wins a lawsuit they receive monetary compensation from the defendant. This money covers their losses from what they believe is a wrongful act committed by the defendant.
Before a trial can happen, parties must gather and share evidence with each other to develop strategies for their case. This process is called discovery and it includes depositions (the interview of a party or witness by a lawyer under oath) and interrogatories. The court can also sequester the jury during a trial to prevent outside influences from impacting their decision making.