The Ultimate Guide on How to File a Civil Lawsuit

The Ultimate Guide on How to File a Civil Lawsuit

If you’re going to file a civil lawsuit, there are a few things that you need to know. We’ve put together the ultimate guide on how to file a civil lawsuit.

It’s true. Our country has a reputation for being prone to litigation, aka “sue-happy.” But we all know there are times when a lawsuit is needed to rectify a situation gone awry.

If you’re going to file a civil lawsuit, there are a few things that you need to know. We’ve put together the ultimate guide on how to file a civil lawsuit.

Types of Civil Lawsuits

One of the most important things to realize before you lawyer up is that there are different types of lawsuits you can pursue, depending on the scenario.

For example, if someone broke into your house and attacked and robbed you, that’s a criminal matter. That’s a situation for the authorities and the criminal court system.

Civil matters are the most litigated type of case in the justice system. Why? Because they include so many settings and interactions that affect our daily lives.

From the innocuous neighbor dispute to mass tort cases like the recent Purdue Pharma settlement, civil cases run the gamut. Some of the most common civil lawsuits include:

  • A breach of contract
  • A wrongful act or tort claim, which includes wrongdoing other than a breach of contract (a personal injury case, for example)
  • Landlord/tenant issues
  • Equitable claims, or getting the court to influence the actions of another (restraining orders, for example)

As you can see, civil cases are everywhere. If you were in a car accident and went to trial because their insurance didn’t want to pay the claim? This case is a prime example of a civil suit.

But how do you file a lawsuit? If you want to file a class-action lawsuit, a personal injury lawsuit, or any other type of lawsuit that involves a civil matter, here are some basic steps you need to take.

How To File a Civil Lawsuit

One of the first things you should establish before you file a civil lawsuit is a fault. Once you are clear that a breach of the law has occurred, you can then proceed with the following basic steps of how to file a lawsuit.

1) File a Complaint

The first step is to file a complaint with a federal courthouse. The complaint will state how you suffered damages due to the negligent or purposeful acts of the defendant. It will also state how their actions violated the law.

2) Serve the Complain

The court will then serve a copy of the complaint to the defendant. After this, be prepared to prove your side.

3) Discovery

Both sides will likely need to prove their case, a process known as “discovery,” or gathering evidence. Information such as records or eyewitness accounts can count as discovery.

Get Legal Assistance

The court may encourage mediation or arbitration to avoid the time and expense of going to trial. In either case, you may need legal help, so get a lawyer who knows how to file a civil lawsuit.

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