A lawsuit is a legal dispute between two people about a specific issue. During the lawsuit, each party presents witnesses and records evidence. A judge or jury then renders a decision. The plaintiff’s burden of proof is in making the claims, while the defendant’s burden of proof is in asserting any affirmative defenses. Trial lawyers prepare a strategy that will be most effective during the trial. It is also their job to ensure that the case has all the elements that are required for a successful resolution.
As more parties get involved in a lawsuit, the process becomes more complicated. The number of claims and defenses that can be included in one lawsuit can be almost unlimited. Also, participants can make cross claims and bring additional parties to the suit. Sometimes, however, the courts will sever overlapping issues and claims into separate actions.
After a successful lawsuit, a plaintiff can receive damages. This can include monetary compensation, such as medical expenses, and noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. These damages are intended to compensate the plaintiff for the pain and suffering she endured. For example, Gloria Estefan, the singer and songwriter, filed a lawsuit after a truck wreck wrecked her car in 1990. The accident caused her to break her back, preventing her from performing her concert tour for a year. She won damages of $8.5 million.
In a jury trial, the judge will explain to the jury the laws and rules that govern a lawsuit. The jury will determine the liability of the defendant, as well as the damages awarded to the plaintiff. If the plaintiff wins, the plaintiff will be awarded a monetary award or other forms of equitable relief.