In the simplest terms, a civil suit is a legal process where one person can hold another responsible for wrongdoing. If the Plaintiff Lawyer in Rapid City SD is successful, his or her client will be compensated for losses suffered when the defendant acted (or failed to act). Civil suits can also be filed against and by corporate entities, during contract disputes, and for residential evictions. Unlike criminal cases, which punish wrongdoers, civil cases only serve to compensate victims.
How are Civil and Criminal Cases Different?
Civil cases can be filed by anyone; usually, businesses and people who have suffered losses initiate them. By contrast, prosecutors and attorneys who represent government interests file criminal cases. The burden of proof is less strict in a civil case; the plaintiff must only prove their allegations by a preponderance of the evidence. During a criminal case, the prosecution must demonstrate guilt beyond reasonable doubt -; which is a much stricter standard.
The stakes in a civil suit are usually measured in dollar amounts. Plaintiffs ask the court to find in their favor, and if they prevail, a court order compels the defendant to pay a certain amount to the plaintiff. In criminal cases, if the defendant is convicted, they usually face steep fines, probation, jail time, mandatory community service, or a combination of the above.
Personal Injury: A Common Type of Civil Case
In regards to personal injury, civil suits usually begin with the filing of an injury complaint in your state’s civil court’s local branch. Common personal injury cases are those that arise after slip and fall accidents, car crashes, defamation of character, defective consumer products, intentional acts and medical malpractice.
While a civil lawsuit’s filing starts most injury cases, clients should remember that most cases settle out of court, before trial. Many claims are resolved through negotiations, where lawyers work on clients’ behalf to get an appropriate settlement. If you need help filing a civil lawsuit, a Plaintiff Lawyer in Rapid City SD.can help you gather the necessary documentation, they can negotiate in efforts to reach a settlement, and they can represent you in court if negotiations fail.